SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment kept growing for six straight months in August, indicating a labor market recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Wednesday.
The number of those employed totaled 27,603,000 in August, up 518,000 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea.
The employment has continued to rise for the sixth consecutive month since March. The year-over-year growth of jobs stayed above 500,000 for three months, with 582,000 in June and 542,000 in July each.
The employment almost recovered to the pre-pandemic level, but worry emerged about the COVID-19 resurgence here since early July.
In the latest tally, the country's daily number of COVID-19 cases hovered above 1,000 for over seven weeks.
The number of jobs in the health and social welfare industry gained 243,000 in August from a year earlier, and jobs in the transport and warehousing segment increased 107,000.
The figure in the construction sector grew 123,000 last month, but the number in the wholesale and retail segment declined 113,000 as the COVID-19 resurgence weakened demand for offline shopping.
Employment in the eatery and lodging sector slipped 38,000 in August on a yearly basis, keeping a downward trend for the second straight month.
The number of regular and irregular workers went up 324,000 and 312,000 each, but the reading for daily laborers retreated 89,000.
Employment among those aged 15-29 advanced 143,000 in August from a year ago, and the figures among those in their 20s, 40s, 50s and 60s or higher all increased in the month.
The number of jobs for those in their 30s fell 88,000 last month, continuing to slide for 18 months in a row.
Employment rate for those aged 15 or higher added 0.8 percentage points over the year to 61.2 percent in August.
The employment rate gauges the percentage of working people to the working-age population, or those aged 15 or above. Given the aging population, it is used as an alternative to show the labor market conditions more precisely.
The number of those unemployed was 744,000 in August, down 120,000 from a year ago.
Unemployment rate shrank 0.5 percentage points over the year to 2.6 percent in August, marking the lowest August figure since data began to be compiled in 1999.
Jobless rate measures those who are immediately available for work but failed to get a job for the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.
The number of economically inactive population, who had no willingness to seek a job and remained unemployed, came to 16,758,000 in August, down 106,000 from a year earlier. It kept falling for the sixth straight month.
The number of the so-called "take-a-rest" group, who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, shed 58,000 from a year earlier to 2,404,000 in August.
The figure for discouraged job seekers reduced 36,000 to 646,000 last month.
The "take-a-rest" group is considered important as it can include those who are too discouraged to seek a job for an extended period of time.