SEJONG, Nov. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s jobless rate fell in October as more people were hired in the manufacturing, and facility management and business support service sectors, a government report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Statistics Korea, the jobless rate stood at 3.1 percent last month, down from 3.2 percent in September. The jobless rate was also down 0.1 percentage point on-year, the first time since November 2013 that the number fell from a year earlier.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for October was 3.4 percent, also down from the 3.5 percent tallied for the previous month.
“Manufacturing, facility management and business support services, and information technology (IT) related businesses fueled job growth last month, offsetting losses in agrofisheries, and the wholesale and retail areas,” said Sim Won-bo, head of the agency’s employment statistics division.
The number of newly created jobs inched up to 348,000 last month, the highest since 379,000 tallied for May and up marginally from 347,000 new positions offered in September.
The manufacturing sector created 191,000 more jobs, with facility management and business support services adding 104,000. The IT sector, which includes broadcasting and health services, provided 79,000 and 62,000 more jobs last month, respectively, compared with a year earlier.’
In contrast, agrofisheries lost 124,000 jobs with wholesale and retail backtracking 92,000 on-year.
The unemployment rate for people between the ages of 15 and 29 came to 7.4 percent in October, down from 7.9 percent a month earlier and the lowest level since May 2013, when the jobless rate stood at 7.4 percent.
“There was an increase of some 95,000 jobs for people in their 20s that reduced the jobless rate for young people,” Sim said. “The unemployment rate for young people may be returning to normal levels.”
The jobless rate among young adults has always been higher than the national average, but when it was at an acceptable level in the past decade, it stood at around 6-7 percent.
The employment rate for people between 15 and 64 stood at 66.2 percent last month, up from 66.1 percent the month before, although lower than the record high of 66.3 percent tallied for July.
The so-called labor underutilization indicator fell to 10.5 percent last month from 10.8 percent the month before, according to the report.
The indicator is based on guidelines made by the International Labor Organization and reflects the number of people who are underemployed and those who currently hold part-time jobs but want full-time work. It also counts unemployed people who have given up looking for work not by choice but due to other circumstances.