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Newly employed rises by over 300,000 for 6 consecutive months

Aug. 9, 2017 - 15:34 By Julie Kim Jackson
Amid the government’s continued struggle to tackle Korea’s high unemployment rate, the number of newly employed individuals reached 26.9 million last month, up 313,000 from the previous month, according to data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday.

It was the sixth consecutive month that the newly employed figure exceeded more than 300,000 on-month. July’s figure was also 15,000 more than the same month last year.

The number of newly employed surged by 243,000 in January, 466,000 in February, 466,000 in March and 424,000 in April, before slightly slowing down to 375,000 in May and 301,000 in June. 
According to the data, construction, education, real estate business and leasing service industries had the largest number of new hires, accounting for roughly 272,000 of the total hires. Jobs in the fields of communications and publishing saw a decrease in employment figures. 

Despite six months of consecutive 300,000-plus hires per month, the country’s unemployment rate for last month continued to hover at 3.5 percent, the same rate as July 2016. Compared to June, July’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage point.

Korea’s youth unemployment rate reached 9.3 percent last month, a 0.1 percentage point increase from a year earlier. The rate, however, is a decrease from June’s 10.5 percent.

The Finance Ministry previously announced it would bolster the country’s job market with its new 11 trillion won ($9.7 billion) supplementary budget, which was approved by the National Assembly last month and aims to create roughly 12,000 new jobs.

By Julie Jackson (