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Asia Minute: Babysitting jobs a draw for millennials in South Korea

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Labor Day is a natural time to think about work — and the different types of jobs that make up an economy. In one East Asian country, there's a new popularity for a familiar role.

Child care is a crucial piece of the economy — all around the world.

It takes different forms — from all-day supervision with structured activities to shorter-term care.

In South Korea, those short-term babysitting jobs used to be filled by middle-aged and older women.

But the Chosun Ilbo reports that's shifted — with babysitting becoming an increasingly popular job for the millennial generation.

“Mom-sitter” is a babysitting platform that looks after children from infants to the age of 13.

Based in Seoul, the company now has nearly 700,000 members ready to work — and almost two-thirds of them are in their 20s and 30s.

Over the last three years, the company's membership has doubled.

Part of the attraction is salaries that are relatively high compared to other part-time jobs.

The Chosun Ilbo says hourly pay for babysitting is about a third higher than most other part-time jobs. That may be helped by demographics.

The news service quotes an academic at Seoul Womenʻs University who says that “a low birthrate means families with only one child can afford to spend more on that child, which has created better conditions for babysitters and is attracting more people to the job.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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