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Moon's bad New Year

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31.01.2019

John Burton

Korean presidents start losing momentum or worse during their third year in office due to voter fatigue, botched policies or scandals. This year will be no exception for President Moon Jae-in.

In his case, the economy is proving to be his most vulnerable point. After all, it was his promises to improve the economy, not his proposals about North Korea that got him elected in May 2017.

His economic record is a tattered one. The number of employed persons rose by only 97,000 in 2018, the lowest increase since the global financial crisis a decade ago. The number of jobs in the private sector actually fell by 16,000, and the overall job figure only rose due to increased hiring by the government.

Last year's unemployment rate of 3.8 percent was the highest since 2001 and the total number of unemployed persons approached levels last seen during the financial crisis of the late 1990s. The youth unemployment rate is at a 19-year high.

These are embarrassing statistics for an administration that promised to boost economic growth and incomes. The poor economic performance has been blamed on Moon's policy of rapidly raising the minimum wage and imposing shorter work hours when the economy is already slowing and the........

© The Korea Times