SKorea: $10B Budget Plan for Jobs

SKorea: $10B Budget Plan for Jobs

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's government said Monday it has drawn up an 11.2 trillion won ($10 billion) extra budget to create jobs as the new administration took its first steps to deliver campaign pledges.

The Finance Ministry said about half of the stimulus package will be allocated to add 71,000 jobs in the public sector, including teachers, police, firefighters and social workers.

The ministry said the budget will also support the unemployed, women and the elderly. Pay during parental leave, elderly jobs and pays for the elderly will go up. The government also plans to give subsidies to small- and medium-sized firms that create stable full-time jobs, rather than contract jobs, to boost quality jobs in the private sector.

In total, the ministry said the budget plan will create more than 110,000 jobs in the public and private sectors.

President Moon Jae-in promised to put jobs at the center of his economic policy during his election campaign. Asia's fourth-largest economy may appear to be on track to recovery with recent improvements in exports and economic growth. But those upbeat economic reports mask other problems, such as inequality in income distributions, youth unemployment that hovers near all-time highs and sluggish growth in household income. Recovery in consumer spending has been slow as a result.

The stimulus package is subject to approval by parliament where the ruling party controls 120 out of 300 seats.