Labor & Workforce

Coronavirus pandemic destroyed 352,000 South Korean jobs in June

Seoul, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- South Korea recorded an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent in June and the loss of 352,000 jobs in just one month due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, according to data published by the country’s statistics office on Wednesday.

The rate was up 0.3 percentage points from the same month last year.

June was the fourth straight month of year-on-year decline in jobs, the worst streak since the end of 2009.

The number of South Koreans employed stood at 27.05 million in June while temporary workers reduced by 408,000.

The decline in jobs in June was attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has affected consumer spending and corporate activities, with people being urged to avoid going out to prevent the spread of the virus, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Although the pace of job losses has slowed since April, when 467,000 jobs were lost – the biggest monthly decline in 21 years – some sectors, such as services or manufacturing, have been particularly affected by this situation.

Some 65,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector were lost while the accommodation and food services sector lost 186,000, and the wholesale and retail sector lost another 176,000.

South Korea has been among the countries that has been able to contain the spread of COVID-19 most efficiently despite not imposing a lockdown, which has allowed a large part of its economy to continue functioning.

In contrast, 164,000 new jobs were created in the social welfare sector and another 52,000 in agriculture and fisheries.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting job markets in all industrial sectors and the wholesale and retail sectors were the hardest hit,” Chung Dong-myung, a senior official at the statistics office, said.

The South Korean government recently approved the country’s largest-ever supplementary budget – the third since the start of the pandemic – of more than 35 trillion won (over $25.5 billion), with a substantial chunk allocated towards protecting employment.

A total of 13,551 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in South Korea to date, with 289 deaths. EFE-EPA


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