South Korea’s jobless rate hit the highest for September since 2005, although job additions against a year-ago period improved in September from the dismal number in August as the Chuseok holiday added temporary jobs in the service sector to deliver a mild comfort to the Korean government that had feared a minus figure.
According to employment data released by Statistics Korea on Friday, the number of employed in September was tallied at 27,055,000, up 45,000 from the same month last year. The on-year gain improved from pitiful gains of 5,000 in July and 3,000 in August.
The payroll additions slipped under 100,000 from February after staying above 300,000 on average throughout last year.
The statistics bureau said the food and consumer goods sector added jobs before the Chuseok holiday, when Koreans mostly exchange thanksgiving gifts, in late September.
In September, health and social welfare sector added 133,000 jobs against a year ago while telecom and agriculture/forestry/fishery jobs gained by 73,000 and 57,000, respectively. But facility maintenance and lease service sector shed 130,000 jobs, wholesale and retail 100,000 jobs, and restaurant and accommodations 86,000 jobs.
The manufacturing sector was minus 42,000 jobs, but nevertheless an improvement from the loss of 100,000 jobs for three months in a row since June.
The employment rate in September fell 0.2 percentage point to 61.2 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, was down 0.1 percentage point to 66.8 percent.
The number of unemployed people reached 1,024,000, up 92,000 from a year earlier.
The jobless rate rose 0.3 percentage point on year to 3.6 percent, the highest figure for September since 2005. But the unemployment rate for youth aged between 15 and 29 fell 0.4 percentage point to 8.8 percent.
By Lee Yu-sup and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]