South Korea races to find food delivery drivers [Video]

Torri Donley

Cruising through the streets of Seongnam, South Korea on her motorbike, 37-year-old Chey Young-ah works one of the country’s most promising coronavirus-era jobs — as a food delivery driver. With the health crisis keeping millions at home, orders have shot up by some 40% this year in South Korea. It’s […]

Cruising through the streets of Seongnam, South Korea on her motorbike, 37-year-old Chey Young-ah works one of the country’s most promising coronavirus-era jobs — as a food delivery driver.

With the health crisis keeping millions at home, orders have shot up by some 40% this year in South Korea.

It’s the third-largest food delivery market in the world and the demand for drivers has never been higher.

Chey was an art teacher by day, but struggled to make ends meet after the health crisis forced her to shut down her classes.

So she’s traded in her paintbrush for a helmet, joining thousands of new drivers taking advantage of the delivery market boom.

“I was under pressure to find something new. Some people are struggling while others are expanding their businesses; fried chicken shops are booming, for example. I feel lucky I found this field at a time when deliveries are booming.”

Chey says she already earns nine times the average pay she took home as a part-time art instructor.

And companies are now offering bonuses to secure faster drivers willing to work rain or shine.

But the competition for jobs in food delivery is likely to remain fierce.

Many South Koreans have been seen lining up at job fairs as the country’s unemployment rate surged to its highest in more than a decade in May.

But Chey says she will keep up her passion for art as a hobby, rather than her profession.

Choosing the motorbike helmet over her pencils, for the foreseeable future.

Video Transcript

Cruising through the streets of Seongnam, South Korea on her motorbike, 37-year-old Chey Young-ah works one of the country’s most promising coronavirus era jobs as a food delivery driver. With the health crisis keeping millions at home, orders have shot up by some 40% this year in South Korea. It’s the third largest food delivery market in the world, and the demand for drivers has never been higher.

Chey was an art teacher by day, but struggled to make ends meet after the health crisis forced her to shut down her classes. So she’s traded in her paintbrush for a helmet, joining thousands of new drivers taking advantage of the delivery market boom.

CHEY YOUNG-AH: [SPEAKING KOREAN]

INTERPRETER: I was under pressure to find something new. Some people are struggling, while others are expanding their businesses. Fried chicken shops, for example, are booming. I feel lucky I found this field at a time when deliveries are booming.

Chey says she already earns 9 times the average pay she took home as a part time art instructor, and companies are now offering bonuses to secure faster drivers willing to work rain or shine. But the competition for jobs in food delivery is likely to remain fierce. Many South Koreans have been seen lining up at job fairs, as the country’s unemployment rate surged to its highest in more than a decade in May. But Chey says she will keep up her passion for art as a hobby rather than her profession, choosing the motorbike helmet over her pencils for the foreseeable future.

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