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Moon says quality jobs, reduced working hours keys to addressing low birthrate

President Moon Jae-in on Sunday reaffirmed his efforts to create new quality jobs, especially for the youth, calling it a part of efforts to fight the country's low birthrate.

"Creating good jobs is not only a way to give hope to young people, but also increase the number of taxpayers and consumers," the president said in a rare event attended by his ministers and top presidential aides to explain the new government's policy measures.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Sunday's event also involved some 250 citizens who voluntarily took part in what was named the people's transition team that partly helped set up the Moon Jae-in administration's policy initiatives.

The event came two days after the new president marked his first 100 days in office.

Moon said job creation has been and continues to be the number one priority for his government.

He noted some may disagree with creating new jobs with the government's budget, which could be a burden on taxpayers for years to come.

"It is also a solution to economic growth and the low birthrate. It is the most worthwhile way to spend taxpayers' money," the president told the nationally televised event.

The president insisted efforts to create new jobs were necessary for now as the number of new job seekers is at its peak, but said the country will soon have to worry about finding new, young workers.

He said the number of new workers was projected to grow until 2020 but drop by one million every five years after that due to the low birthrate that currently stands at the world's lowest level.

The basic solution to the low birthrate is to allow enough time for both parents of children to take part in child rearing.

"Limiting the working hours to 52 hours a week, including overtime, and allowing the workers to use all their leave days is a fundamental solution to allow both parents to raise their children with ease," he said.

Sunday's event marked the end of the so-called people's transition team, which helped categorize over 180,000 policy recommendations from about 90,000 ordinary citizens since the new administration launched on May 10.

Nearly 100 policy recommendations made by everyday citizens have actually been reflected in Moon's new policy initiatives and tasks, according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Some 1,700 others are also being reviewed.

Wrapping up the one-hour event held at Cheong Wa Dae, the president said he will continue to listen to and directly communicate with the people.

"I do believe working with collective minds is a way to ensure success. I will continue my efforts to constantly communicate. I will continue my efforts to create the Moon Jae-in government's policies with the people." (Yonhap)
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