Job scarcity for young South Koreans was worst-ever last year with the jobless rate of those under 30s hitting 9.9 percent versus overall unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.
According to employment data released by the Statistics Korea on Wednesday, youth jobless rate in 2017 rose 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier to 9.9 percent. It is the highest since the agency started compiling such data in 2000
Overall jobless rate remained the same as the previous year with 3.7 percent, but the number of unemployed increased by 317,000 to 1,028,000, also the highest since the statistics bureau began compiling related data in 2000.
Those with jobs stood at 26,552,000, up 317,000 from to a year ago. But the year-on-year addition is small compared to 2015 and 2014 when the Korean economy added 337,000 jobs and 533,000 jobs, respectively.
By sector, construction, health and social care, and public service sectors added jobs last year while transportation, finance and insurance, and manufacturing industries turned leaner in line with automation trend.
Factory workers totaled 4,449,000, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier. The number of self-employed increased 1.3 percent to 72,000.
Despite government’s efforts to improve the job market, the country added only 253,000 jobs to 26,421,000 in December against a year ago. It is the third straight month for the year-on-year addition to fall below the 300,000-mark.
Manufacturing and construction sectors added jobs in December with the number of payroll gaining by 88,000 and 80,000, respectively, from a year ago period, but lodging and restaurant sector shed 49,000 jobs and education service 25,000 ahead of the double-digit hike in minimum wage.
The number of unemployed reached 915,000, up 48,000 from the same month last year, and overall unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 3.3 percent.
In December, youth unemployment rate grew 0.8 percentage point to 9.2 percent.
By Yoon Won-sup and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]