[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea added 312,000 jobs in February from a year ago, the smallest in two years, with the manufacturing sector losing jobs for the second month in a row to suggest a slowdown in the economy.
According to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the total number of employed stood at 27,714,000 in February, up 312,000 jobs from the same month in the previous year. This is the smallest gain in two years due to a base effect. In February last year, Korea saw jobs gain by 1.04 million.
An overall demographic change such as a shift to an ageing society also led to fewer job gains in February.
Payroll has been gaining for the 24th straight month since March 2021 but the addition has eased for the ninth month in a row from 841,000 in June last year.
By age group, individuals aged 60 and above saw a growth of 413,000 in February from a year ago but those in other age groups saw a decline of 101,000 jobs.
Individuals in their 50s saw a growth of 77,000 and 30s 24,000 but those in their 20s and below saw a decline of 125,000 and 40s 77,000.
The employment rate of 20s and under was 45.5 percent in February, down 0.4 percentage point from a year ago. It is the first decline in two years.
The manufacturing sector lost 27,000 jobs in February, marking the second month of decline after 35,000 in January. The fall comes amid sluggish chip exports.
Financial and insurance sector also lost 6,000 jobs, wholesale and retail 76,000, and transportation and warehouse 44,000. Employment in healthcare and social welfare service, on the other hand, gained 192,000 in February and accommodation and restaurant 176,000.
Full-time workers increased by 470,000 in February while temporary workers fell by 128,000 and day-to-day laborers 8,000.
The employment rate for those aged 15 years and older came to 61.1 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from a year ago, and the highest for the month since the agency began compiling related data in July 1982.
A total of 890,000 people were unemployed in February, down 64,000 from a year ago. Jobless rate stood at 3.1 percent, down 0.3 percentage point, the lowest for the month since June 1999.
Economically inactive population that are neither working nor actively seeking jobs fell 106,000 to 16.75 million in February.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]