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WED, 2014-10-22  KST

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Korea's real jobless rate stands at 11 percent

Updated: 2014-05-20 06:36:50 (KST)
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Song Se-jin says he's one of many who've delayed graduation to gain more preparation time to find work.
Although he can graduate, he prefers to remain as a student until he lands a job.


"I think many of my friends have high scores for English proficiency tests and they also have different kinds of certificates so I also took a semester off to prepare for all that."


But Song is not categorized as unemployed in the nation's jobs data, rather he's just a student preparing to get a job.


"And it's because of people like this that economists look past the official jobless rate to a so-called "actual" unemployment rate that includes those who are preparing to get a job, under-employed or discouraged from finding a job."

Taking them into account, the "actual" jobless bracket included over 3-million individuals in April, more than three times the government's official figure.
The actual jobless rate also stands at 11 percent, up more than 7 percentage points from the unemployment rate announced last month.
Statistics Korea, which compiles the jobs data, counts only those who don't have a job despite their efforts to get one and that means when they actually start filling out applications.

"It has been criticized for many years that it's a too narrow definition to reflect the true state of unemployment and is inclined to underestimate the number of true unemployed."

In response to the criticism, Korea's statistics agency plans to release a new set of data in November, which provides jobless figures based on international standards that will include the under-employed and discouraged seekers.
It said the extra data would offer a full picture of the nation's job market.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.


Reporter : emilyfwang@arirang.co.kr

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