SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, April 14, 2020 – As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has been prolonged, the Seoul Metropolitan Government temporarily provides special allowances to young people who lost their part-time jobs or other types of short-term jobs due to the virus outbreak.
Through the allowances, so-called “Swift Youth Allowances,” the city government has been providing KRW 500,000 (USD 411) per person per month for two months from March 1 to April 30 to young people who were fired or involuntarily quit the work because of the outbreak of the virus after January 20, when the first confirmed case was reported in Korea. The basic requirements for receiving the allowances are the same as those for the Seoul Youth Allowance in 2020.
During the nine-day application period from March 9 to 17, a total of 1,155 young people applied for the allowances. Among them, a total of 892, including 70 in the first round, 267 in the second and 555 in the third, were selected through the document screening and qualitative evaluation made by the judging committee for the March allowances. The April allowances were paid to 883 people, excluding nine applicants who got jobs in-between or applied for the same program. To do so, the Seoul Metropolitan Government promptly executed KRW 887.5 million (USD 729,550) of the budget.
According to the analysis of the applicants’ reasons to apply for the allowances and the examination of the damage cases of the 892 applicants in total, 37% (330 people) of the applicants worked as sales clerks at cafes or movie theaters; 25.9% (231) did simple office work or service jobs; 18.8% (168) worked at cultural arts and performance industries; and 14.9% (133) worked at education institutes, which shows well the difficulties shops, restaurants, private educational institutes, and culture and arts businesses are suffering from the COVID-19.
The biggest reason to quit the job was a sales drop in the workplace they worked for: 55.3% (493 people) answered because of the sales drop; 26.5% (236 people) said the cancellation of the events; and 18.3% (163) replied the suspension of the business. They worked for 22.7 hours per week for 7.2 months on average and they were paid KRW 1.07 million (USD 880) per month. Most of the applicants said the reasons for applying for the allowances were to pay for the living and housing expenses and answered they had difficulties in finding other jobs and in repaying their loans.