Employment jumps 379,000 in May

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Employment jumps 379,000 in May

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Last month, the number of people with jobs increased by 379,000 compared to a year ago, putting the total number of employed at 26.2 million, Statistics Korea reported Wednesday.

It was the largest employment increase in five months and the highest number of people between the ages of 15 and 64 working since data was first compiled in 1982.

According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the employment rate in May was 66.1 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from a year ago.

“The overall population has shrunk by roughly 8,000, but employment of youth [aged 15 to 29] has risen 1.2 percentage points from a year ago,” said a Statistics Korea official.

In May, the employment rate for that age group was 41.7 percent. The number of people in that age group who got jobs in May was 114,000 more than in the same month last year.

The number of newly employed was above 300,000 in each of the first three months of this year, but dipped to 216,000 in April.

The biggest number of hires came from the lodging and restaurant industry, which added 143,000 in May, a 7 percent year-on-year increase. Close behind was manufacturing with 140,000 new hires, up 3.2 percent. The health and welfare sector added 80,000 new workers, up 4.7 percent year-on-year.

The biggest employment loss came in the agriculture and marine industry, where the number of people working fell by 123,000, or 7.4 percent, from May 2014. The public administrative sector and defense industry jobs also saw the number of people working shrink by 4.7 percent, or 47,000.

The financial and insurance industry had 46,000 fewer employees, down 5.5 percent.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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