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Korea’s latest employment report shows a big improvement in the month of March.
A significant number of jobs were added… in construction, retail and healthcare, pulling the unemployment rate down by about a tenth of a percent.
Oh Soo-young looks beyond the uplifting digits.
Korea saw a surge in new jobs in March, posting its biggest on-year increase in 15 months.
New data from Statistics Korea on Wednesday shows 26-point-two million people were working last month.
That’s 466-thousand more than last year,… and an employment rate of 60-point-two percent, which is the highest rate for March since 1997.
Most of the new jobs were added in the construction sector, as seasonal factors resulted in more orders.
The retail and healthcare industries also saw an uptick in new workers.
The manufacturing sector, however, continued to see losses… a trend that’s continued for nine straight months due to restructuring in key industries.
The unemployment rate fell by zero-point-one percentage points on-year to four-point-two percent… and the rate for workers between 15 and 29 also saw a slight drop of zero-point-five percentage points to eleven-point-three percent.
But experts say… the slight improvements in employment aren’t much cause for excitement.
“You can see that the number of people who work less than 36 hours a week expanded significantly, as did the self-employed and day laborers. So there was an uptick in lower quality jobs. Compared to other OECD countries, the employment rate remains low for young people with high qualifications, as there aren’t enough adequate jobs to accommodate them,… and the same goes for highly-educated women seeking to return to the job market after having children.”
In fact, the youth unemployment rate for March is the second highest in ten years.
The number of people who gave up looking for work numbered
468-thousand,… an increase of 36-thousand on-year… and an all-time high for the month of March.
“To boost the number of workers, there must be an upgrade in job quality.
Without significant improvements in employment quality and work conditions, analysts say job growth is unlikely to be sustainable.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.”
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