Roundup: S.Korea's employment growth hits 7.5-year high in September

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SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment growth hit its highest in seven and a half years in September, indicating a labor market recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, statistical office data showed Wednesday.

The number of those employed totaled 27,683,000 in September, up 671,000 from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea.

It marked a record high since March 2014, continuing growth for the seventh straight month. The year-over-year growth of jobs stayed above 500,000 for six months in a row.

The employment almost recovered to the pre-pandemic level, and worry moderated about the COVID-19 resurgence amid the ongoing vaccination campaign.

In the latest tally, the country's daily number of COVID-19 cases hovered above 1,000 for 99 straight days since July 7. The country has administered COVID-19 vaccine doses to 78.1 percent of the population, with 60.8 percent being fully inoculated.

The number of jobs in the health and social welfare sector rose 280,000 in September from a year ago, and jobs in the transport and warehousing segment increased by 163,000.

The reading in the education services industry gained 98,000 last month, but those in the wholesale and retail and the manufacturing sectors slumped 122,000 and 37,000 respectively.

Employment in the eatery and lodging sector grew 39,000 in September on a yearly basis, after dropping 38,000 in August and 12,000 in July.

The number of regular and irregular employees went up 515,000 and 340,000 respectively, but the figure for daily laborers slumped 121,000 last month.

Employment among those aged 60 or higher advanced by 323,000 in September from a year earlier, and the numbers for those in their 20s, 40s and 50s rose 202,000, 18,000 and 124,000 respectively.

The number of jobs among those in their 30s fell 12,000 last month, but the figure effectively rose given the falling population in the age group.

Employment rate for those aged 15 or higher added 1.0 percentage point over the year to 61.3 percent in September.

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

The number of those unemployed stood at 756,000 in September, down 244,000 from a year earlier.

Unemployment rate declined 0.9 percentage points over the year to 2.7 percent in September, recording the lowest September figure in eight years since 2013.

Jobless rate measures those who are immediately available for work but failed to get a job for the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.

The number of economically inactive population, who had no willingness to seek a job and remained unemployed, came to 16,685,000 in September, down 132,000 from a year ago. It kept falling for the seventh consecutive month.

The number of the so-called "take-a-rest" group, who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, shed 81,000 from a year earlier to 2,332,000 in September.

The figure for discouraged job seekers shrank 30,000 to 615,000 last month.

The "take-a-rest" group is considered important as it can include those who are too discouraged to seek a job for an extended period of time. Enditem

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