What Do You Think About The 'Full-Time Child' Career?
Recently I came across this video by Channel News Asia Insider about China's "Full-Time Child". This is the outcome of the exceptionally high youth unemployment rate in China. With so many fresh graduates entering the work force yearly and limited job available in the market, the macro-environment inevitably caused many youths to be in a tough situation where they are unable to find employment no matter how hard they try. This gradually leads to youths giving up, resulting to popular lingos recently like '躺平' (means lying flat - having a low desire, with an indifferent attitude towards life) or '摆烂' (means leaving it to rot - actively embrace a deteriorating situation rather than try to turn it around).
However in the interview, the youths have a different perspective of this 'Full-Time Child'. Some are forced by circumstances. The unfavorable macroeconomic environment makes it doubly hard for them to find jobs. In October, statistics showed that the Youth Employment Rate in China rose to an alarming 21.3%, indicating almost 1 in 5 youths are unable to find employment. This is a huge issue because with an extremely large population, this makes the absolute number of unemployed youths extremely high.
On the other hand, there are interviewees who said that it is their choice to return home to be a 'Full-Time Child'. Being a 'Full-Time Child' involves spending time with their parents, and taking care of all the household chores, and preparing all meals for their working parents daily. For this, they are generally paid between RMB 3K to 8K a month, depending on how much the parents can afford. To be frank, it is a scary thought for me because of a couple of reasons:
1) If these 'Full-Time Child' gets paid doing these chores, what fairness is there to the traditional homemaker (housewives). Should then all homemakers demand being paid by their husbands for managing the household?
2) If the 'Full-Time Child' become a more prevalent scenario, does it mean that more youths can now have the option to just quit whatever jobs they deem too tiring and demanding and hence return home to get paid by their parents? My opinion is this is another form of 'elderly-gnawing adult children', also known as '啃老族'.
These, in my opinion, are definitely having a negative impact on the country in the long term. From a monetary perspective, earning from parents means the entire household is only netting one or two incomes (by the aged parents) from outside source(s), while the household's expenditures need to cater to three individuals. This may mean a net outflow of monetary resources and hence deplete aged parents' retirement funds faster than expected generally.
On the contrary, Korean youths are also facing similar problems of finding work with sufficient income to support their livelihood, as shown in this CNA video on Asia's Stuck Generation. However, based on the interviews, Koreans are dealing with the problem using a different approach, by hustling 2 or more jobs to make ends meet. Interested parties can click on the link above to watch the interviews.
Will it happen in Singapore one day, where the adoption of technology results in less job openings available for fresh graduates to apply. Will it come a day where a single income are no longer sufficient for Singapore youths to sustain their livelihood, as pressured by the rising cost of living, housing and transport. Currently from what I see, youths in every surrounding country from Malaysia to Thailand, China to South Korea are all facing the same issue, thus it may probably be something that will inevitably happen to Singapore in time to come.
Will end with this song (sorry it is in Chinese, and I do not have the ability to translate it), whose (rap) lyrics probably showed the true scenario that youths in China are facing, and its probably an accurate depiction of their feelings towards the macroenvironment. We may be critical of what we see, but probably only the youths who are 'drowning' in such situations will truly understand what they face, and what they have to deal with. Outsiders are just bystanders. I can only hope that I can escape this whole rat-race soon. Barista FIRE, here I come...!