Young Korean Americans’ biggest worry is finding a job

April 16, 2014

Calls related to concerns over finding work increased five-fold from previous quarter
Job Korea says international students face the slimmest odds of securing jobs

According to Job Korea, the on fair on Thursday will result in about 1,000 jobs for seekers. (Park Sang-hyuk)

More than 5,000 crowded the L.A. Convention Center earlier this month for the 3rd Annual Asian Job Fair. (Korea Times file)

These days, young Korean Americans’ biggest worry is finding a job.

In the first quarter of 2014, 19.1 percent — 101 of 528 — of calls made to Los Angeles’ Shalom Life Line were related to concerns over finding work, said the hotline. Shalom said the number has increased five-fold from last quarter, which brought in 21 such calls.

And according to Job Korea USA President Brandon Lee, the number of applications this year experienced a 15 percent jump from last year .

“The amount of calls and emails we receive compared to the first quarter of last year has increased and confirms the serious problem Korean Americans are having with finding jobs,” Lee said.

It’s becoming more and more difficult to find work as the number of job-seekers grows yearly in a bleak job market following the financial crisis, he said.

He said international students are facing the slimmest odds of securing jobs.

Of the 2,958 applicants who used Job Korea in the first quarter this year, 28.4 percent were seeking work in accounting and wanted an average entry yearly salary of $40,000.

Following accounting as the most popular field was transportation and commerce with 13 percent of applicants, sales with 11.7 percent, general office jobs with 10.5 percent and marketing with 8.3 percent, Job Korea said.

“Before the financial crisis, applicants were looking for specialized jobs that paid the highest salaries, but now entry-level positions with lower starting salaries have the most competition,” Lee said.

He said overqualified people with advanced education are also competing for lower-skill work.

“It looks as though the unemployment crisis for Korean Americans will continue deepening,” he said.