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South Korean companies are offering workers $75,000 to have babies amid the country's desperate bid for more children

An image of a South Korean baby being bottle-fed milk by a social worker.
This photo taken on May 24, 2017 shows social workers caring for a baby at the Jusarang Community Church in southern Seoul. The number of abandoned babies has jumped in recent years in the wake of a law intended to protect childrenJung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images
  • Some South Korean companies are giving out $75,000 bonuses to employees who have kids.

  • Two firms, Booyoung Group and Ssangbangwool, announced their birth programs this month.

  • The fertility rate in South Korea was 0.78 in 2022, far lower than the 2.1 it needs to maintain its population.

A South Korean firm is offering employees up to $75,000 to have children and help lift the country's ailing birth rate.

Ssangbangwool, an underwear company, said on Thursday that it would give workers $22,400 for their first child, another $22,400 for a second child, and $30,000 for their third, per The Korea Herald.

"A low birth rate is an important task for our society to overcome. The company will take responsibility and put all-out efforts to help the country increase the fertility rate," a company spokesperson, per the outlet.

The announcement comes after Booyoung Group, a construction firm based in Seoul, earlier this month declared it would give a $75,000 per-child bonus to employees who have babies, CNN reported.

Booyoung Group extended the bonus to employees who have had children since 2021. The company's employees have collectively had at least 70 children since 2021, so the firm is on the hook to disburse $5.25 million in cash to its workers, per CNN.

Both men and women can claim the bonus, the outlet reported.

Like in China and Japan, South Korea's aging and increasingly imbalanced population means there could be a surge in retired older people who require medical care while the country's supply of younger workers dwindles.

The national fertility rate was 0.78 in 2022, and the birth rate in Seoul — home to a fifth of the country's population — was even lower at 0.59 that year, according to the latest government statistics.

The country needs a fertility rate of 2.1 to maintain its current population.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on February 13 ordered his administration to develop tax incentives and subsidies for companies that encourage their employees to have children.

In Seoul, municipal authorities are giving $750 every month to parents who have children until their babies turn one year old.

Read the original article on Business Insider