South Korea’s unemployment tops 1 mln in January, with jobless rate at 3.7 pct

SEOUL, Feb. 15

Unemployment in South Korea topped 1 million in the first month of this year, with the jobless rate standing at 3.7 percent, a government report showed Wednesday.

The number of those unemployed was 1.02 million in January, up 12,000 from the same month of last year, according to Statistics Korea. It surpassed 1 million in seven months, indicating the still lackluster labor market conditions.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent in January from a year earlier, but the rate for youths aged 15-29 rose 0.1 percentage point to 8.7 percent in the month.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office last May, vowed to make all-out efforts to create decent jobs especially for the younger generation.

Moon said in his New Year’s press conference that his government’s top priority will be placed on job creation. He pledged to foster growth of the economy by creating decent jobs as job creation leads to more household income and more private consumption.

The sentiment jobless rate among youths came to 21.8 percent in January, down 0.8 percentage points from a year earlier. It was the first decline in 10 months since March 2017.

The official unemployment rate refers to those who are immediately available for work, but fail to get a job in the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.

The sentiment rate adds those who are too discouraged to seek a job, those who work part-time against their will to work full-time and those who prepare to get a job after college graduation to the official jobless rate.

The sentiment rate began to be compiled in January 2015 to more accurately reflect labor market conditions.


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