President Moon Jae-in emphasized the urgency Monday of introducing "special measures" to create jobs, in particular, for South Koreans in their 40s, while striking an upbeat note on the overall economic situations here next year.
"(The government) has tried to support economic vitality and growth with expansionary fiscal policies, bringing hope that it will be better next year than this year," he said during his weekly meeting with senior Cheong Wa Dae aides. Moon's opening remarks were open to pool reporters.
The president cited some recent data pointing to a recovery in job creation, an increase in the youth employment rate, an improvement in the quality of new jobs and a narrowing of the income gap shown in the third quarter household trend survey.
What's more meaningful is that the government is making those "positive changes" by maintaining the policy direction of "innovation, inclusiveness and fairness," he added. His liberal administration has not been tempted to use "artificial, pump-priming" steps to stimulate the economy, which are easy to choose when an economy is in trouble, according to Moon.
He admitted, however, to a continued cut in the number of jobs for those in their 40s amid a slowdown in the manufacturing field of Asia's fourth-biggest economy.
"Special measures for the employment of people in their 40s are desperately needed," he said.
Moon stressed that employing them might become more difficult due to the spread of smart factories and automation from the fourth industrial revolution, and said the government should explore "multi-angle, tailored" policies to support their employment. (Yonhap)