Wed, 29 Mar 2023

SEOUL, March 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment growth continued to slow for the ninth consecutive month in February on rising economic uncertainties due to export fall and interest rate hikes, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The number of those employed was 27,714,000 in February, up 312,000 from the same month of last year, according to Statistics Korea. It was the lowest increase in two years since February 2021.

Jobs kept growing for 24 months, but year-over-year employment growth has been on the decline for the ninth successive month.

Uncertainties escalated over the Asian economy amid rapid interest rate hikes that fueled worry about an economic downturn.

The country's central bank began to tighten its monetary policy stance in August 2021, hiking its benchmark interest rate from a record low of 0.50 percent to 3.50 percent.

External uncertainty also mounted. Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, kept falling for the fifth straight month through February.

The number of jobs among manufacturers reduced 27,000 in February from a year earlier, continuing to fall for the second consecutive month.

The number of jobs lost in the wholesale and retail, the transport and warehousing and the finance and insurance segments stood at 76,000, 44,000 and 6,000 respectively.

Employment in the health and social welfare services and the lodging and eatery sectors grew 192,000 and 176,000 each in the cited month.

The overall job increase was led by the elderly people. The number of jobs among those aged 60 or higher surged 413,000 last month, but those in their 20s and 40s retreated 94,000 and 77,000 each.

The number of regular employees expanded 470,000, but figures for irregular workers and daily laborers shrank 128,000 and 8,000, respectively.

The number of self-employed who hired workers increased 55,000, but figure for self-employed without employees dwindled 5,000 in February.

Employment rate for those aged 15 or higher added 0.5 percentage points over the year to 61.1 percent in February, while the OECD-method hiring rate for those aged 15-64 went up 0.6 percentage points to 68.0 percent.

The number of those unemployed was 890,000 in February, down 64,000 from a year earlier. Jobless rate declined 0.3 percentage points to 3.1 percent.

The expanded jobless rate slipped 2.2 percentage points to 9.9 percent last month, and the rate for those aged 15-29 slumped 2.2 percentage points to 17.9 percent.

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

The expanded jobless rate, called labor underutilization indicator, adds those who are discouraged from searching 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 unemployment rate.

The economically inactive population, who had no willingness to seek a job and remained unemployed, went down 106,000 over the year to 16,751,000 in February.

The reading for discouraged job seekers diminished 155,000 to 358,000 last month.

The number of the "take-a-rest" group, who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, slipped 165,000 to 2,635,000.

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.

More South Korea News

Access More

Sign up for South Korea News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!