SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Korea’s statistical agency released data on unemployment that include those without jobs for voluntary reasons such as housewives. Including these figures, Korea’s jobless rate is more than 10 percent, more than three times that of the current official unemployment rate. Accordingly, the number of those with no job will increase to 3 million under a new definition.
According to the National Statistical Office on November 12 in a monthly report “October 2014 Employment Trend,” the rate of unemployment including those potentially looking for jobs and those potentially available for hiring was 10.1 percent for the month. This is 6.9 percentage points higher than the official rate of 3.2 percent.
The official number of the unemployed who were unable to find a gainful occupation even though they looked for job opportunities for the past four weeks was 858,000. But the number more than tripled to 2,875,000 if the definition encompasses those part-time employees whose average weekly work hours were fewer than 36 hours and want to work more (313,000), job seekers potentially available for full-time employment who looked for jobs for the past four weeks (43,000), and those potentially available for full-time employment who have not looked for jobs for the past four weeks (1,661,000).
An official with the statistical office said that even though his agency published the jobless figures under a new definition, it is still hard to call all of them unemployed. He continued, “We announced the complementary indexes as a way to look at the job market in diverse perspectives. In other countries such as the United States and the EU, such complementary indexes are compiled but they don’t call all of those people in the category unemployed.”
By Sean Chung (email@example.com)