S. Korean job additions sharply improve Q4 2018 led by govt spending

2019.06.20 14:46:06 | 2019.06.20 14:54:21

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South Korea added 359,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of last year, led by an increase in jobs in health and social welfare service sector through government funding. Construction, rent service, and manufacturing sectors, however, lost jobs during the period to underscore persisting downturn in domestic economic conditions.

According to data released by Statistics Korea on Thursday, the number of employed people in the October-December period stood at 18.494 million as of the end of November, up 359,000 from the same period a year ago.

Job additions stayed throughout the year until pickup in the final three months. The number of newly added jobs fell from 315,000 in the first quarter to 245,000 in the following quarter before reducing further to 213,000 in the July-September period.

Of the job numbers, 12.408 million were retained ones and 3.247 million replacements following retirements and turnovers. A total of 2.84 million new jobs were added as a result of creation of new entities or business expansion, while 2.481 million jobs were lost due to business exits and downsizing.

By sector, 114,000 jobs were added in the health and social welfare service industries in the October-December period compared to a year ago, 92,000 jobs in retail and wholesale, 46,000 jobs in professional, science, and technology, and 44,000 jobs in education. Job addition in the public administration, national defense, and social security administration also reached 38,000 and accommodation and restaurant 38,000.

Statistics Korea said government-sponsored programs and policies to create new jobs led to job addition in health, social welfare service, and wholesale and retail sectors.

The construction sector, however, lost 96,000 jobs, rent service business 38,000 jobs, and manufacturing 12,000 jobs. The downward trend in the construction sector slowed down from a year ago. In the first quarter of last year ended March, the sector lost 35,000 jobs, 84,000 jobs in the second quarter, and 113,000 jobs in the third quarter. Job loss in the manufacturing sector also slowed down from 16,000 in the second quarter of last year and 19,000 in the third quarter to 12,000 in the fourth quarter, data showed.​

By Kim Tae-joon and Lee Eun-joo

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