By Chun Jung-hong
Joblessness among South Koreans aged from 15 to 24 rose by the fastest pace among the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) so far this year.
According to OECD data on Sunday, the April unemployment rate of Koreans aged 15 to 24 was 11.2 percent, up 2.5 percentage points from 8.7 percent in December. Of the 21 member countries, only Korea and four others saw their youth unemployment worsen in the cited period. Korea topped the list, followed by Austria (10.2→10.5%), Israel (6.8→7.1%), Germany (6.6→6.8%), and Japan (4.8→5.0%).
Elsewhere, job conditions for young people improved, bringing down the OECD average from 12.6 percent to 12.1 percent. The figure came down from 10.0 percent to 9.4 percent for the United States and from 18.1 percent to 16.7 percent in the European Union. In Europe, Italy showed the biggest improvement, with the youth joblessness down 5.2 percentage points. Ireland and Spain reported decreases of 3.9 percentage points and 3.5 percentage points, respectively.
Overall job data for Korea also worsened. Unemployment rate shot up most in Korea among the OECD developed economies, gaining 0.5 percentage points. Finland and Israel posted gains of 0.3 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points, respectively. The OECD average unemployment rate in the same period fell from 6.2 percent to 5.9 percent.