Increase in Number of Employees Continues to Be Down for 4 Months in a Row

Nov 15, 2018

‘Worst employment crisis’ continues to take place as monthly increase in number of employees continues to be under 100,000 for 4 months in a row. Average monthly increase in number of employees from January until October was around 96,800 people which corresponds to only half of South Korean Government’s goal (180,000). Employment rate has been negative for 9 months in a row while unemployment rate in October recorded the highest rate in the past 13 years.
Hong Nam-ki, who is a candidate for minister of Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), is taking this employment crisis very serious and announced that he would include additional measures to Direction for 2019 Economy Policies.
According to ‘employment trend’ announced by Statistics Korea on the 14th, number of employees in the month of October was 27.09 million people and it increased by 0.2% (64,000) compared to October of 2017.
Increase in number of employees was under 100,000 people for the months of July (5,000), August (3,000), September (45,000), and October (64,000). If increase in number of employees continues to be under 100,000 while number of economically active population continues to increase, it can be seen as if number of employees remains the same.
Per industry, there was an increase in number of employees for health and social welfare service industry (159,000, 8.0%), information communication industry (81,000, 10.4%), construction industry (60,000, 3.0%), and agriculture, forestry, and fisher industry (57,000, 4.0%). However, there was a decrease in number of employees for retail industry (-100,000, -2.6%), lodging and restaurant industry (-97,000, -4.2%), and business facility management and business support and rental service industry (-89,000, -6.5%).
Per age of an employee, there was an increase in number of employees who are in their 60s and older (243,000), 20s (61,000), and 50s (6,000). However, there was a decrease in number of employees who are in their 40s (152,000) and 30s (74,000).
Employment rate (Percentage of employees out of entire population over 15 years old) in October recorded 61.2% which is 0.2% lower than that of October of 2017. Employment rate has been negative since February. These 9 months period of negative employment rate is the longest since the 27 months period of negative employment rate from January of 2008 until March of 2010 when there was financial crisis.

Increase in Number of Employees Continues to Be Down for 4 Months in a Row

Unemployment rate (Percentage of unemployed people out of economically active population) in October was 3.5% which is 0.3% higher than that of October of 2017. In past Octobers, unemployment rate of this year’s October was the highest since October of 2005 when the rate was 3.6%.
However, unemployment rate in young men and women who are between 15 and 29 years old was 8.4% which is 0.2% lower than that of October of 2017 as this year did not have a government employee hiring test. When there is a government employee hiring test, unemployment rate goes up as test=-takers who used to be part of economically nonactive population becomes part of economically active population.
“Although there was little improvement to increase in number of employees between July and October, employment crisis still looks severe as employment rate continues to drop.” said Section Head Bin Hyun-joon of Korea Statistics’ Employment Statistics Section. “There is still negative trend within employment in South Korea.”
MOEF is also taking this current situation very serious based on reduction of employees within manufacturing industry and lack of increase in number of employees within service industry. It is planning to increase number of jobs and improve economic vitality by reforming regulations and strengthening innovative growth.
“Although there was a slight increase in number of employees in the month of October compared to the month of September, our employment crisis is still in a serious condition.” said Hong Nam-ki while meeting with reporters at Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation. “It is important for us to create jobs as soon as we can by improving our economic vitality. South Korean Government is going to consider what additional measures it can implement and apply them to 2019 economic policies.”
“Employment problem is the most important issue that our economy has right now.” said Hong Nam-ki. “South Korean Government must consider what additional measures it needs to solve this problem throughout the month of December.”
Staff Reporter Yoo, Seonil | ysi@etnews.com

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