The image of a new employee in the Producer drama gave us a realistic and touching feel, especially when she said she gave her first paycheck to her mom. In real life, 3 out of 10 young Koreans rely on their parents for financial support, even when they have jobs. What's going on?

Online employment portal Saramin recently revealed that 28% of young Koreans, men and women in their 20s and 30s, still get financial support from their parents. These families are referred to as "Kangaroo families" because the parents are still "carrying" their young.

The study broke the numbers down as follows, based on the data it collected for the May 12 study:

1. Why do they still get financial help from their parents?

The #1 answer is "Naturally because I still live with them," from 51.1% of the respondents who said they are getting support. Next, at 41.4%, is "Because of low wages," and 27.8% said “To get financial stability quicker."  24.2% replied “To be able to pay off loans,” and lastly, 14.1% replied “Because parents have the financial means.”

2. How do they spend the money?

On average these young Koreans receive about 320,000 won (US$292) a month. The majority, 44.9%, said they use it to pay "Food and other living expense." The rest: 33.3% spend it on "Rent and other housing expenses," 12.1% on "Insurance," 10.1% on "Clothing and other self-maintenance expenses," 8.1% on "Culture and entertainment expenses", 7.6% on "Paying off loans and interests," and 7.1% on "Savings."

3. How long do they expect to keep getting help from parents?

Almost 30% replied "Until marriage," followed by 26.3% saying "Until I move out." 12.6% said "Until I earn my goal salary," and 8.6% said "For as long as my parents want to." The last is 6.1%, "Until I save up my goal amount."

It's clear that the majority need the money to meet basic expenses. I'm not sure about those who take the money and save it; perhaps their parents can afford to still give them allowances? I find this survey very enlightening. We've been through ups and downs in our own country too, and the young (as well as older) workers have had to struggle to make a livable wage.

I recall that even Sunny Wang (In Time With You,) the real-life heir of a Taiwanese tycoon, didn't need the money from his father but also said that it didn't hurt to have help. Imagine how hard it is for a young person from a regular family to get his or her start in life. No wonder we see  (and empathize) with so many K-drama stories that have poor heroes and heroines who'd work any kind of menial jobs as an inspiration to encourage the young people about work and the value of working.

Anyway, I was very touched by the girl in the Producer drama who talked about having been unemployed for 4 years. When she gave her entire first paycheck to her mother, her mother cried. She's a good daughter to show appreciation to her mom. Would you give your first paycheck to your parents?


Watch Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, IU, and Cha Tae Hyun in Producer, the star-studded new series that goes behind the scenes of Korean variety shows:


~ NancyZdramaland