Research Monographs

The Youth Labor Market During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Youth Labor Market During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Author

    Ham, Sunyu

  • Publication Date


  • Pages


  • Series No.

    연구보고서(수시) 2021-06

  • Language


This study aims to investigate the working life of the youth population during the Covid-19 pandemic. The youth labor market is known as vulnerable to economic downturns and less resilient than any other age group in previous recessions. Using a difference-in-differences framework applied to the economically active population survey microdata, this study confirmed that the youth population is more affected by the Covid-19 pandemic than other working-age groups. The employment rates of youth decreased both in the first and the third waves of the pandemic. During the first wave (March to April 2020), face-to-face service sectors, where young workers were widely employed, contributed to decreased youth employment. However, by the third wave (December 2020), the hiring freeze on regular positions led young graduates seeking decent jobs to stay out of the labor market. Among the youth population, male humanities and social science graduates who left school 2 to 4 years earlier showed the highest decrease in employment. This study also found that gender differences in reacting to this recession. During the pandemic, while the male youth stayed out of the labor market and invested in human capital such as preparing for employment and hiring exams, the female youth returned to the labor market, actively seeking jobs. This report provides implications for the youth labor market and policy based on these findings.


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