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Korea Employment Now Less Than A Million, Several Sectors Affected

By February 16, 2017 at 6:15 am
Korean Workers (Photo : Chung Sung-Jun | Getty Images News)

Once again, 1 million are unemployed in South Korea in January while employment rate has shown the smallest gain in the last 11 months according to the most recent statistics. According to Statistics Korea, the unemployed number at 1,009,000 last month, which increased the unemployment rate to 3.8 percent. The rate is the highest since April which had a 3.9 percent of unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, 25.69 million were employed last month which is an increase of 243,000 from last year. This is lowest rate of growth since 223,000 in February last year and far below the forecast of 290,000 by the South Korean government.

People over the age of 60 showed the highest increase of unemployment at 50,000 while people at their 30's who were unemployed also increased by 34,000. But people aged between 15 and 29 did well as their unemployment rate dropped down by 0.9 percent to 8.6 percent.

Jobs from the manufacturing industries suffered the most setbacks with 160,000 jobs lost from Janauary last year. This make it the 7th straight month that the industry is losing jobs. This is also the sharpest desline since the figure dropped to 173,000. The South Korean government says the decline is due to the restructuring in the shipbuilding sector and sluggish export and domestic demand.

Because of the restructuring, the top three shipbuilders in South Korea had to lay off a huge number of their crew. Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries, cut their number of employees by 7,000 last year with plans of cutting another 14,000 in the year. Furthermore, Korea's exports decreased by 5.9 percent in 2016 from the year before which also contributed to the decrease of employees in the manufacturing sector.

But not all sectors experienced declines in employment. Food, education, construction and health and welfare sectors has seen a growth in their employment.

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