S. Korea adds jobs for 9ths straight month in November, but growth slows

2021.12.15 12:21:31

[Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]이미지 확대

[Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]

South Korea’s job addition slowed in November and the unemployment rate is expected to peak out with widening spread of Covid-19 and variants threatening the country’s normalization roadmap and economic recovery.

According to data released by Statistics on Wednesday, the number of employed came at 27.79 million in November, adding 553,000 from the same month a year earlier.

The country managed to keep up growth streak for the ninth month, although the addition fell below 600,000 for the first time in three months. Payrolls grew by a seven-year high of 671,000 in September and then 652,000 in October.

The slowdown was partly attributed to the resurgence of Covid-19 outbreak that took away jobs mainly in the dining and hospitality industries, according to Statistics Korea.

Since the government eased most social-distancing restrictions under the ‘living with Covid-19’ mode from early November, coronavirus infections in Korea have skyrocketed to new daily highs, above 7,000 as of mid-December, taking a heavy toll on the service sector.

Most age groups except those in their 30s and 40s added jobs in November, according to the data.

Individuals aged 60 and above saw the biggest growth of 331,000, followed by 20s with 156,000 and 50s with 149,000. Those in their 30s lost 69,000, extending the losing streak for 21 straight months mainly due to thinning in the age group while 40s shed 27,000, reversing the course for the first time in six months.

Healthcare and social welfare sectors added 279,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing gained 148,000, and information and telecommunications 106,000.

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Employment in accommodation and eatery sector, however, shed 86,000 jobs after keeping up growth for two consecutive months until October. The wholesale and retail sector lost 123,000, and the public administration, defense and public service administration sector 81,000.

Full-time workers increased by 611,000 and temporary workers 106,000, whereas day-to-day laborers decreased 175,000 for the seventh month in a row.

The number of self-employed with no paid hires increased 42,000, while those with paid workers lost 4,000, extending the losing streak for 36 straight months but the declining pace slowed.

The employment rate for those aged 15 years and old stood at 61.5 percent, up 0.8 percentage point year over year.

A total 734,000 people were without jobs in November, down 234,000 from a year ago. Jobless rate was off 0.8 percentage point on year to 2.6 percent, the lowest for the month since 2013.

Economically inactive population – those neither working nor actively seeking jobs - fell 23,000 to 16.65 million, marking the ninth consecutive month decline.

By Seo Sookyung

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]