Job data remained at its worst levels with the unemployed showing a figure never seen before for March since data was regularly released from 2000 amid little signs of relief for youths.
According to employment data released by the Statistics Korea, the number of unemployed in March stood at 1,257,000, up 120,000 from the same month last year. The jobless figure for March was the highest since 2000 when the agency started compiling such data based on current method.
Those with jobs reached 26,555,000, up 112,000 from a year earlier. It is the second consecutive month for the on-year job addition to hover around 100,000. Last time the on-year gain stayed around 100,000-mark for two straight months was 23 months ago. In February, the figure dipped to near eight-year low after adding only 104,000 jobs.
By sector, health and social care sector, public service, construction and leisure industries added jobs while wholesale/retail, education service, and real estate businesses shed jobs.
Factory workers totaled 4,554,000, up 0.3 percent from a year earlier. The number of self-employed fell 0.7 percent to 5,618,000.
The employment rate in March fell 0.1 percentage point to 60.2 percent from a year ago. The employment rate for people aged between 15 and 64, the standard of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), stood at 66.1 percent, the same as a year earlier.
The jobless rate rose 0.4 percentage point on year to 4.5 percent, the highest for March since 2001 when it recorded 5.1 percent.
The unemployment rate of the youth aged between 15 and 29 grew 0.3 percentage point to 11.6 percent, also the highest for March since 2016.
Slowdown in the construction sector and thinning working population has led to overall dismal job figure, said a statistics official.
The Korean government is preparing to create 3.9 trillion won ($3.7 billion) supplementary budget for job creation but the market stays pessimistic toward the government’s efforts as private companies still remain slow in adding jobs.
By Yoon Won-sup and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]