Employment up, especially in 40s, 50s age group

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Employment up, especially in 40s, 50s age group

Employment among all age groups stood at 64.5 percent in March, at about 25.2 million people, up 1.1 percentage points compared to February and up 1 percentage point from the same period last year, according to data released yesterday by Statistics Korea.

People in their 50s gave the largest boost to the March employment figure, showing a steeper growth rate than those in their 40s. Those two age groups have already recorded employment rates higher than the government’s goal, with 73.6 percent of people in their 50s and 78.9 percent of people in their 40s finding work.

Overall employment has increased for the past three months.

New employees in manufacturing reached 143,000, marking 21 consecutive month of increase, and the service industry recorded 551,000 new workers, also continuing an increasing trend. The retail industry hired the most - 170,000 workers aged between 15 and 54, followed by the accommodation and restaurant industries (166,000) and the health care and social welfare industries (120,000).

Full-time employees increased 4.5 percent, or 524,000, compared to February. Part-time workers jumped 3.3 percent, or 157,000.

The Park Geun-hye administration is slowly approaching its goal of reaching the 70 percent overall employment rate, but employment among young people has stayed low at 39.5 percent, dipping below the 40 percent mark again after two months above it.

The government said in a statement that the youth employment boost earlier in the year was a temporary side effect of short-term retail jobs during the Lunar New Year.

BY KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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