Roundup: S.Korea's employment growth hits 29-month high in August

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SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment growth hit a 29-month high last month on the government's efforts to create jobs amid the aging population and the low birthrate, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The number of those employed totaled 27,358,000 in August, up 452,000 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. It was the fastest increase in 29 months since March 2017.

The employment growth came as the government unveiled a series of projects to create jobs especially among the older generation amid the rapid population aging.

South Korea was one of the fastest aging societies, leading the government to provide part-time jobs for the elderly who did not make enough preparations for after-retirement life.

The employment rate among those aged 15 or higher rose 0.5 percentage points from a year earlier to 61.4 percent in August, marking the highest figure of the month in 22 years since 1997.

The hiring rate advanced in all age groups, except those in their 40s. The employment rate among those aged 15-29 picked up 1.1 percentage points to 44.0 percent last month.

The OECD-method employment rate among those aged 15-64 added 0.5 percentage points to 67.0 percent.

The employment rate gauges the percentage of working people to the working-age population, or those aged 15 or above. Amid the aging population, it is used as an alternative to show the labor market conditions more precisely.

By industry, job creation in the healthcare and welfare services, the eatery and lodging services, and the sports and leisure sectors expanded, but those in the wholesale and retail and the finance and insurance industries shrank last month.

The number of those unemployed tumbled 275,000 over the year to 858,000 in August, marking the lowest August reading in six years since 2013. Unemployment slipped in all age groups last month.

Jobless rate dipped 1.0 percentage point to 3.0 percent in the month, marking the lowest August figure in six years. The unemployment rate also declined in all age groups.

The so-called expanded jobless rate, which reflects labor market conditions more accurately, slumped 0.8 percentage points to 11.0 percent in the cited period.

The official unemployment rate refers to those who are immediately available for work but fail to get a job for the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.

The expanded jobless rate adds those who are discouraged from searching a job, those who work part-time against their will to work full-time, and those who prepare to get a job after college graduation to the official jobless rate.

The jobless rate for those aged 15-29 plunged 2.8 percentage points over the year to 7.2 percent in August, marking the fastest fall of the month in 19 years.

The number of economically inactive population increased 158,000 from a year earlier to 16,330,000 last month.

The so-called "take-a-rest" group jumped 349,000 in the month. The group refers to those who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period. It is an important figure as the group can include those who are unemployed and too discouraged to search for work for an extended period of time.

Discouraged workers, who gave up efforts to seek a job because of the worsened labor market conditions, added 10,000 over the year to 542,000 in August. Enditem

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