Youth unemployment hits year-long low in Sept.

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Youth unemployment hits year-long low in Sept.


Korea’s job market showed signs of recovery in September, as youth unemployment hit its lowest level this year and the number of newly-hired people rebounded.

Statistics Korea’s monthly data showed the unemployment rate of those between 15 and 29 fell to 7.9 percent in September, from 8.0 percent a month earlier. It is the lowest recorded since November 2014, recording the same figure.

The number of employed people grew 347,000 in September from a year earlier - nearly 90,000 more than in August, when the figure dipped below 300,000.

“Recovery in consumer sentiment, and the effect of the Chusoek holiday extended the rebounding pace in retail consumption,” said an analysis from Ministry of Strategy and Finance. “Job growth in the service industry, which has showed a tepid pace so far, bounced back, as the number of new hires jumped to more than 292,000.”

The service industry has proved a headache for policy makers in Korea over the past few months, as retail sales were hit by the outbreak of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome between May and July.

The manufacturing sector led the growth in job market, the analysis said, hiring more than 100,000 workers in each of the past 17 months. In September, employers in manufacturing employed 16,600 workers in total.

The overall employment rate climbed 0.2 percent to 60.9 percent and unemployment rate sank 0.2 percent to 3.2 percent, the lowest since November 2014.

“In August, the number of people employed in wholesales and retail sales plummeted but the sectors pared their declines in September, driving the overall number of new hires,” said Shim Won-bo, a Statistics Korea official, at a briefing. “Youth employment improved mainly at restaurants and accommodations.”

A growth in new hires among people in their 50s was also noted.

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