[Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]
South Korea’s job market extended its gaining streak in October, with payroll additions staying above 600,000 for the second straight month and unemployment at the lowest for the month in eight years in the latest sign of a recovering economy.
According to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of employed reached 27.74 million in October, adding 652,000 from the same month a year ago.
The pace of growth eased from September when the country reported the biggest payroll increase of 671,000 in seven years but remained above the 600,000 level.
Korea reported job additions for the eighth straight month,
All age groups except those in their 30s added jobs, data showed.
Individuals aged 60 and above saw the biggest growth of 352,000, followed by 20s with 168,000, 50s with 124,000, 40s with 20,000. Those in their 30s lost 24,000 jobs.
Healthcare and social welfare service sector gained the most 300,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing 163,000 and education service 108,000.
Employment in accommodation and eatery sector kept up growth for two consecutive months as the country began to return to normalcy after the months-long restrictions on social gatherings to contain virus outbreak.
Wholesale and retail sector, on the other hand, shed 113,000 jobs, association and group-led business, repair, and other personal service sector 57,000, and public administration, defense and public service administration 33,000. Manufacturing sector extended the losing streak to the third straight month, losing 13,000 jobs.
Full-time workers increased by 615,000 and temporary workers 219,000 while day-to-day laborers fell by 162,000.
The number of self-employed with no paid hires increased 45,000 while those with paid workers decreased 26,000.
Most of the new hires worked less than 36 hours a week, accounting for 5.21 million. Longer-hour jobs were lost by 4.44 million.
The employment rate for those aged 15 years and older came to 61.4 percent, rising 1 percentage point from the same period a year ago.
A total 788,000 people were unemployed in October, off 241,000 from a year earlier. Jobless rate was down 0.9 percentage point on year to 2.8 percent, marking the lowest for the month since 2013.
Economically inactive population – those neither working nor actively seeking jobs –fell 116,000 on year to 16.6 million, falling for eight straight months.
Jeong Dong-myeong, head of social statistics planning at Statistics Korea, said the strong job data in October is attributed to robust exports and a base effect from last year.
The gradual return to normalcy, improving consumer sentiment and the vaccine rollout will positively impact the job market in November but uncertainty still lingers the country is seeing an uptick in new infections, Jeong added.
By Lee Soo-min
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]