The recent study revealing that nearly half of Seoul's youth population is living in poverty paints a bleak picture of economic hardships plaguing the city's young adults. The staggering statistics, particularly the high rates of asset and personal income poverty, underscore the pressing need for immediate government intervention.
Professor Shin Gyeong-a rightly attributes these distressing numbers to persistently high unemployment rates, emphasizing the critical role of governmental support in aiding struggling young adults and encouraging NEET youth to rejoin the labour market.
The impact of youth poverty on mental health, highlighted by Professor Lee Bong-ju, adds another layer of urgency to the situation. The study's revelation that 34.7 per cent of young adults in Seoul are grappling with depression is alarming, with unemployment after graduating and layoffs contributing significantly to their mental health struggles.
As we witness the interconnectedness of youth and senior poverty rates, it becomes evident that tackling the former is essential to prevent a cascading effect on older adults, making it even more challenging for them to save for retirement.
The study's findings on coping mechanisms, with a significant percentage relying on parental financial support, illuminate the harsh reality faced by Seoul's youth. If unemployment rates persist, breaking the cycle of dependence becomes increasingly difficult, jeopardizing the financial stability of both the younger and older generations.
The call for more governmental aid and employment support, as emphasized by Professors Shin and Lee, resonates as a crucial step in extricating the youth from economic hardship and creating a sustainable path towards financial independence.
Seoul's youth poverty crisis demands swift and targeted government action. Strengthening income support, employment opportunities, and asset formation support should be prioritized to uplift the youth and break the cycle of poverty. Failure to address these issues promptly not only risks the well-being of the current generation but also threatens the future economic landscape of Seoul. The government must act decisively to pave the way for a brighter and more secure future for the city's youth.