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S. Korea's unemployment rate rises to 3.8% in January Updated: 2017-02-16 04:18:37 KST


The number of people in the workforce last month came in at slightly under 25.7 million.
That's up 243-thousand from the same period a year ago,… but the slowest gain in eleven months.
It's also far below the government's target of 290-thousand per month for this year.
Statistics Korea says much of this lackluster performance stemmed from struggling manufacturers, considered the backbone of the economy.
The impact of heavy restructuring in the sector caused the number of added jobs to shrink by 160-thousand last month from the year before, extending the fall to seven straight months.
It's also the biggest drop recorded since July 2009.

(KOREAN)
"It's highly likely that employment in manufacturing will stay in negative territory for the time being since it'd be hard to make a turnaround, especially at a time when domestic demand and the job market on a downward trend."

What does that mean for young Koreans, already facing a tough job market?

(KOREAN)
"It'll freeze up the job market for young Koreans even more. Jobs in the manufacturing sector are considered a long-term career, but given the current circumstances like the slower pace of global economic growth, these businesses will likely not be ramping up their workforce at least for now."

Korea's overall unemployment rate crept up,… rising zero.one percentage point on-year to three.eight percent.
That's the highest figure tallied since April of last year.
In actual numbers, this means 1-million-and 9-thousand Koreans were unemployed last month, piercing through the one-million mark for the first time in seven months.
The youth unemployment rate, which covers Koreans between 15-and-29 years of age, was still at a lofty 8.6 percent, up from 8.4 percent the previous month.
With the latest figures in mind, the government says it plans to draw up follow-up measures next month after thoroughly evaluating the youth job market.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.

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