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S Korean gov't to inject US$4.06b to stabilize job market
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The South Korean government on Wednesday announced its plans to inject more than 5.4 trillion won(US$4.06 billion) to stabilize the nation's job market next year.

In a report presented to President Lee Myung-bak, the Ministry of Labor said it has earmarked 5.45 trillion won (US$4.09 billion) in 2009 budget to help the unemployed find new jobs and facilitate vocational training.

The ministry said the additional funding is to be used for training some 152,000 job seekers next year and creating 15,000 new jobs in the social services sector to assist mostly elderly and working mothers.

The ministry added that it will also push for legislative action to revise a controversial law requiring companies to convert irregular workers into regular employees after two years of employment.

Because it is legally difficult to fire a regular employee in South Korea, the system has been criticized that it prompts businesses to dismiss workers before they reach two years of employment

The ministry said the temporary employment period should be extended to three or four years.

The announcement came as South Korea's job creation slumped to a 5-year low in November as more companies are limiting additional hiring amid a global economic downturn.

(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2008)

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