The number of newly employed Koreans in August rose at the fastest pace in 29 months, leading the employment rate to hit the highest in 22 years for August and unemployment rate the lowest in six years.
According to data released by the Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of the employed reached 27,358,000 in August, up 452,000 from a year ago. The gain was the largest since March 2017 when it had reached 463,000, and it was also the highest August job additions in five years.
The monthly job gains exceeded the 400,000 mark for the first time since April 2017 after staying below the 300,000 threshold from February 2018 to July 2019. After remaining below 10,000 in July and August 2018, the figure began to show signs of recovery since February this year when it reached 263,000. It came to 250,000 in March, 171,000 in April, 259,000 in May, 281,000 in June and 299,000 in July.
The healthcare and social welfare industry added 174,000 new jobs in August compared with the previous year. The dining and hospitality sector added 104,000 jobs and service industry related to art, sports and leisure 83,000. On the other hand, the wholesale and retail sector lost 53,000 jobs, public administration, defense and social security sector 52,000 and financial and insurance industry 45,000.
The number of full-time employees and day-to-day workers rose 493,000 and 24,000, respectively, while that of temporary workers decreased 2,000. By age group, 391,000 people aged over 60 landed a new job last month, and the figure for people in their 50s reached 133,000 and 20s 71,000. But the prime workforce in their 40s and 30s lost 127,000 and 9,000 jobs, respectively, adding weight to opposition parties’ criticism that the latest job growth is meaningless as the number is mostly driven by the increase in government-funded elderly jobs.
The number of jobless people declined 27,500 from the same month last year to 858,000 in August, the lowest August figure since 2013 when it had reached 783,000. The unemployment rate plunged by 1 percentage point to 3 percent over the same time, also marking the lowest level since 2013.
By Kim Tae-joon and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]