Labor & Workforce

South Korea posts highest employment growth in 22 years

Seoul, Feb 16 (EFE).- South Korea recorded its highest employment growth in 22 years in January due to a low base effect and the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic, according to official data published Wednesday.

The number of employed people was 26.95 million in the first month of 2022, representing 1.14 million more than in the same month of last year, according to figures released by Statistics Korea.

It was the highest employment growth in the country since March 2000, when the number employed increased by 1.21 million people.

January this year also marked the 11th consecutive month of jobs growth since March 2021.

Statistics Korea attributed the strong jobs growth to a low base effect and the ongoing economic recovery supported by strong exports.

The unemployment rate in South Korea in January was 4.1 percent, one point and six tenths less than in the same month of the previous year.

The number of unemployed fell last month by 427,000 people to 1.14 million, the biggest drop since August 2000.

In January 2021, South Korea had registered the highest job losses in the country in 22 years, with a reduction of 982,000 people among individuals in work, due to the impact of the pandemic.

In the whole of 2021, the number of employees in the country increased by 369,000 people, the highest jobs growth in seven years, and the labor market recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

The employment recovery has continued despite South Korea continuing to grapple with a record increase in Covid-19 cases due to the spread of Omicron.

On Wednesday South Korea registered a daily case high of more than 90,000 new infections.

Despite widespread job creation, some face-to-face-oriented segments of the service sector continue to struggle.

While the hospitality sector experienced job growth, the wholesale and retail sector continued to see employee numbers drop, although to a lesser extent than in December.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy expanded 4 percent in 2021, its fastest growth rate in 11 years and thanks to exports, with the South Korean central bank forecasting 3 percent growth this year. EFE


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