SEJONG, June 23 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of unemployed college graduates in South Korea hit a record high in May, government data showed Saturday, in the latest sign of a tightened job market for young adults.
The number of jobless people with bachelor’s degrees and above reached 402,000 in May, up 76,000 from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
It marked the largest monthly figure since 2000, the statistics agency said.
The statistics agency said unemployed people with bachelor’s degrees and above accounted for 35.8 percent of the 1.12 million total jobless people. In May 2000, the number was 14.2 percent.
South Korea’s jobless rate stood at 4 percent in May, up 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier, marking the highest rate recorded for May in 18 years, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.
The unemployment rate for young adults — those aged between 15 and 29 — was 10.5 percent in May, up 1.2 percentage points from a year earlier.
Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said the May jobs data is “shocking.”