Korea’s job gains lose steam in June, likely further after toughened mitigation rules

2021.07.14 14:54:10

[Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

[Photo by Yonhap]

South Korea added nearly 600,000 jobs in June, expanding for a fourth straight month in line with economic recovery, although the pickup pace slowed from a month ago amid simmering summer wave of Covid-19 that would rattle the job market in coming months.

According to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of employed totaled 27.64 million in June, up 582,000 from a year ago.

The number of payroll has been on the increase after a yearlong contraction since March last year.

Jobs expanded for four months in a row on rebound in exports, economic recovery, and base effect.

The on-year additions, however, slowed for two straight months after peaking to a near 7-year high of 652,000 in April. In May, Korea added 619,000 jobs.

From the previous month, the job figure added 18,000 in June, gaining for five months in a row after February. The on-month addition significantly eased from 532,000 in February, 128,000 in March, 68,000 in April, and 101,000 in May.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki claimed the job market is on recovery path in terms of both quantity and quality, pointing to the surge in the youth jobs.

But he admitted the toughened social distancing rules could affect the job market and small businesses.

By age, individuals aged between 15 and 29 saw an on-year growth of 209,000 in June, the biggest since 234,000 in July 2000. Individuals aged 60 and over added 399,000 jobs, 20s 186,000, and 50s 74,000. Those in their 40s added 12,000 jobs in June, breaking the nearly six years of falling streak from November 2015 to May this year.

Individuals in their 30s, however, lost jobs by 112,000 in June, falling for a 16th month in a row after March last year.

Healthcare and social welfare service sector gained 208,000 jobs in June, followed by construction 140,000, and transportation and warehouse 89,000.

이미지 확대
The wholesale and retail industry lost 164,000 jobs in June, association and group-led business, repair, and other personal service sector 55,000, and arts, sports, and leisure-related service sector 43,000.

The number of employed fell 10,000 in the manufacturing sector in June. The number of full-time workers increased 321,000 and temporary workers 360,000 while day-to-day laborers fell 114,000.

There were a total 403,000 workers on temporary leave in June, down 326,000 from a year ago, data showed.

In June, a total 1.093 million were unemployed, down 136,000 from a year ago. It is the biggest fall since 150,000 in February last year.

The number of unemployed in those aged 15 and 29 fell 65,000 in June. Jobless rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 3.8 percent.

Economically inactive population that are neither working nor actively seeking jobs fell 154,000 to 16.3 million in June, declining for a fourth month in a row.

The survey on June data was conducted between June 13 and 19 when social distancing rules were maintained at level 2 in capital Seoul and surrounding areas and other regions level 1.5. The fourth wave of Covid-19 began early this month and pushed social distancing to the highest level 4.

By Lee Eun-joo

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