Roundup: S. Korea's employment rises 173,000 on year in March

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SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment kept rising last month due to a fast increase in elderly jobs, statistical office data showed Friday.

The number of employed people aged 15 or older expanded 173,000 from a year earlier to 28,396,000 in March, according to Statistics Korea.

It marked the lowest growth in over three years since February 2021, but the employment continued to grow thanks to higher elderly jobs.

The overall job expansion was driven by the elderly people. The number of jobs for those aged 60 or older advanced 233,000 in March on a yearly basis, but the figures for those in their 20s and 40s shrank 97,000 and 79,000 each.

The number of jobs among manufacturers grew 49,000 last month, keeping an upward trend for the fourth straight month.

Employment in the science and technology service, the information and communications, and the health and social welfare service sectors went up 98,000, 67,000 and 50,000, respectively.

Jobs lost in the education service, the finance and insurance and the wholesale and retail segments stood at 33,000, 32,000 and 14,000 each.

Jobs in the agricultural, livestock and fishery industry declined 50,000 in March, marking the fastest reduction since March 2017.

The number of regular and irregular employees climbed 286,000 and 97,000 each, but the reading for daily laborers dwindled 168,000 last month.

The number of the self-employed who hired workers decreased 1,000, while the figure for the self-employed without employees retreated 35,000.

Employment rate for those aged 15 or higher went up 0.2 percentage points over the year to 62.4 percent in March, while the OECD-method hiring rate for those aged 15-64 rose 0.4 percentage points to 69.1 percent.

The number of unemployed people came in at 892,000 in March, up 52,000 compared with the same month of last year. The jobless rate added 0.1 percentage point to 3.0 percent.

The expanded jobless rate went down 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier to 9.1 percent in March, while the corresponding rate for those aged 15-29 slumped 1.6 percentage points to 16.2 percent.

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

The expanded jobless rate, called labor underutilization indicator, 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 unemployment rate.

The economically inactive population, who had no willingness to seek a job and remained unemployed, lost 63,000 over the year to 16,242,000 in March.

The reading for discouraged job seekers picked up 52,000 to 391,000 last month.

The number of the "take-a-rest" group, who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, gained 30,000 to 2,446,000 in the cited 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. Enditem

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