Payroll growth lost steam in June with under-30 unemployment worsening to new record-high levels, underscoring poor domestic economic conditions despite activity in the export front, government data showed.
According to June employment data released by the Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of employed stood at 26,860,000, up 301,000 from the same month last year. The on-year addition was slowest in five months.
The number of employed in wholesale and retail sectors gained by 8,000 against a year ago period, sharply decreasing from the on-year increase of 52,000 in the previous month. Employment in lodging and restaurant industry shrank by 38,000.
It is the first time hiring in hospitality and restaurant industry fell since December 2011 in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, suggesting domestic demand conditions could be worse than the summer of 2015 hit by the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Thanks to overseas demand, factory payroll increased for the first time in a year, adding 16,000.
The employment rate in June edged up 0.2 percentage point to 61.4 percent, the highest for the month of June since 1997 with 61.9 percent.
The number of jobless people grew by 65,000 to hit 1,069,000 in June. The unemployment tally for those between 20 and 24 fell by 14,000 but the joblessness of 25 and 29 increased by 21,000 and for 30s and 40s by 8,000 and 14,000, respectively. The jobless people in 50s rose by 16,000 and those in 60s by 19,000.
The overall jobless rate was up 0.2 percentage point at 3.8 percent and the youth jobless rate also up 0.2 percentage point at 10.5 percent. The real unemployment rate for the age under 30 that counted the individuals available for work but had not searched for a job in the last four weeks hit 23.4 percent last year, up 1.8 percentage points from a year earlier and highest-ever since the statistics bureau tracked the data in 2015.
By Kim Se-woong
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