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S. Korea's June job growth lowest in 11 months after ferry disaster

English.news.cn   2014-07-16 12:03:52

SEOUL, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Job growth in South Korea last month hit the lowest in 11 months, bolstering worries about the sluggish recovery of Asia's No.4 economy after the deadly ferry sinking disaster, a government report showed Wednesday.

The number of those employed reached 25,875,000 in June, up 398, 000 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea.

It was the lowest increase since July 2013 when 367,000 jobs were created. The country's job growth continued to fall after jobs added peaking at 835,000 in February.

The pessimistic figure bolstered concerns that the April ferry disaster had a negative effect on employment data, or the lagging indicator which reflects economic conditions with a certain time gap.

The ferry Sewol capsized and sank off the southwestern coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing. The accident has led consumers to refrain from entertainment and travel.

Bank of Korea lowered its 2014 growth outlook for the economy to 3.8 percent last week from the 4 percent forecast three months earlier.

Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said in his inaugural speech that it will be inevitable to downgrade this year's economic growth outlook, vowing to use various measures of fiscal support to enhance the economy. He said the 2015 budget plan will be more "expansionary" than initially planned.

The service industry, which led the past job growth, showed sluggishness due to weaker domestic demand after the ferry disaster.

The service sector added 304,000 jobs in June after employing more than 500,000 people for the first four months of this year. The job growth in the sector began falling from May.

Manufacturers employed 165,000 workers in June, keeping its growth trend for 24 straight months. Jobs in the construction industry increased 23,000 in June after growing 14,000 in the prior month.

By age group, the number of those employed in their 20s increased 10,000 in June, but employment in their 30s reduced 25, 000. Those employed in their 50s and 60s expanded 181,000 and 187, 000 each last month, leading the job growth.

Jobless rate was 3.5 percent in June, up 0.4 percentage points from the same month of last year. The number of those unemployed increased 136,000 from a year earlier to 949,000 in June.

The unemployment rate among those aged 15-29 gained 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier to 9.5 percent in June.

The jobless rate measures the percentage of those unemployed who actively sought jobs in the past four weeks to the economically active population, or the sum of people employed and unemployed.

Hiring rate among those older than 15 increased 0.4 percentage point to 60.9 percent in May from a year earlier. The hiring rate gauges the percentage of working people to the working age population, or those aged 15 and over. It is used as an alternative to the jobless rate for assessing labor market conditions.

The OECD-method employment rate among those aged 15-64 rose 0.6 percentage point to 65.7 percent in June.

Wage earners expanded 2.3 percent in June from a year earlier, with regular workers rising 3.9 percent. Irregular workers grew 1. 6 percent, but those working on a daily basis reduced 6.5 percent last month.

Those who had an average workweek of more than 36 hours climbed 1.7 percent in June from a year earlier, and those with less than 36 hours of working week rose 1.3 percent.

The economically inactive population, or people aged over 15 minus the economically active population, reduced 141,000 in June from a year earlier.

Among them, those in housework and childcare declined 64,000 and 59,000 each last month. The number of job preparers, or those preparing for job-searching, slid 38,000 in June.

People too discouraged to continue their search for jobs surged 233,000 in June on a yearly basis. Discouraged workers are those who want to work and are available to do so but failed to get a job due to tough labor market conditions. They are those who looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.

The so-called "take-a-rest" group, or those who replied that they took a rest during the job survey period, dipped 1,000 in June from a year earlier. The group is important as it can include those who are unemployed and too discouraged to search for work for a long period of time.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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