South Korea's finance minister on Tuesday promised to mobilize every means possible to create jobs and boost the economies in regions struggling with slumping businesses.
In May, the government designated Ulsan, Geoje, Mokpo and several other regions as emergency response zones to receive special job support and tax incentives. They are homes to shipbuilders and other manufacturing operations that are reeling from massive industrial restructuring.
"The government will support projects aimed at revitalizing regional economies and creating jobs without being tied to the existing policy framework," Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said in a meeting with the administrative chiefs of nine such regions. Interior and Safety Minister Kim Boo-kyum also attended the session.
Some of the regions logged higher unemployment rates than the national average, contributing to the nation's worst job conditions since the global financial crisis in the late 2000s.
The jobless rate in Geoje, home to the country's major shipyards, including Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., stood at 7 percent in the first six months of the year, up 4.1 percentage points from the year earlier period. The figure marks the highest jobless rate since 2013 when the country started compiling job data of major cities.(Yonhap News)