The number of the unemployed with higher than university level education passed the 500,000 mark for the first time in Korea's history. According to the National Statistical Office on April 23, the number of people with no job totaled 1,167,000 in the first quarter of this year, up 1.2 percent or 14,200 from a year ago.
Of the total, the people with educational attainment higher than university accounted for the largest share of 46.5 percent or 543,000. Following them were high school graduates (451,000), lower than elementary school graduates (99,000), and middle school graduates (75,000).
The unemployment rate of the higher than university level graduates stood at 4.4 percent, the second highest behind the lower than elementary school graduates (5.3%).
The number of non-economically active population stood at 16,552,000 in the first quarter of this year, down by 0.1 percentage point or 16,500 from a year before.
Key factors behind the increase in the number of the unemployed with high educational attainment include the widening wage gap between large- and small- companies and between regular and non-regular job positions.