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Finance minister again hints at extra budget

2018/02/23 14:12

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SEJONG, Feb. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's chief economic policymaker on Friday reiterated that the government may mobilize all policy tools, including an extra budget, to help create jobs for young people, spawning speculation that the government is determined to form a supplementary budget going forward.

"In order to create jobs for the youth, the government is working on measures," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a meeting with reporters here. "We do not rule out the formation of an extra budget."

   On Thursday, the minister said a set of measures for youth job creation will be unveiled next month.

Kim's repeated remarks about an extra budget are causing market players to speculate that the government is juggling an option to utilize a supplementary budget to handle chronic youth unemployment.

In January, President Moon Jae-in called for an all-out effort to create new quality jobs for young people, calling the country's high youth jobless rate a national disaster.

Creating quality jobs, especially for the young, was one of Moon's key election pledges. The president has promised to add 810,000 new jobs in the public sector during his single five-year term, which ends in May 2022.

Moon has had several display panels installed in his office to provide daily data on the country's jobless rate and other job-related developments.

As of the end of December, the unemployment rate for people between 15 and 29 years of age came to 9.2 percent, nearly three times higher than the overall jobless rate of 3.3 percent.

Market sources estimate that the extra budget may reach up to 15 trillion won (US$13.9 billion) given tax revenue and rolled-over tax income.