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News > South Korea

S.Korea’s Employment Growth Slows for 4th Month in September

  • Photo taken on Dec. 1, 2021, shows the night view of Seoul, South Korea.

    Photo taken on Dec. 1, 2021, shows the night view of Seoul, South Korea. | Photo: Xinhua/Wang Yiliang

Published 14 October 2022

South Korea logs slow employment growth for the fourth straight month with the employed tally totaling 28,389,000 in September, which is mainly due to the mounting uncertainty amid the higher interest rates that fuels worries about an economic downturn.

South Korea's employment growth continued to slow for the fourth consecutive month in September amid rising economic uncertainty, such as interest rate hikes, according to the country's statistical office data released on Friday.

The number of those employed totaled 28,389,000 in September, up 707,000 from a year ago, according to Statistics Korea.

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Jobs kept expanding for 19 months since March last year, but the year-over-year job increase slowed from 935,000 in May to 841,000 in June, 826,000 in July and 807,000 in August respectively.

Uncertainty mounted over the economy amid the higher interest rates that raised worries about an economic downturn.

The country's central bank began to tighten its monetary policy stance since August last year, hiking its key rate in eight steps from 0.50 percent to 3.00 percent.

Driven by export growth, the number of jobs among manufacturers gained 227,000 in September from a year ago.

Employment in the health and social welfare services industry increased 117,000 last month, and the reading in the lodging and eatery sector climbed 94,000.

The number of jobs lost in the wholesale and retail and the finance and insurance segments came in at 24,000 and 24,000 each.

The overall job growth was led by the elderly people. The number of jobs among those aged 60 or higher jumped 451,000 in September from a year earlier, while those in their 50s and 30s grew 166,000 and 91,000 respectively.

The number of regular employees soared 816,000, but the readings for irregular workers and daily laborers dwindled 120,000 and 114,000 each last month.

The number of the self-employed who hired workers picked up 96,000, and the figure for the self-employed without employees gained 87,000.

The employment rate for those aged 15 or higher rose 1.4 percentage points over the year to 62.7 percent in September, posting the highest September figure since relevant data began to be compiled in 1982.

The OECD-method hiring rate for those aged 15-64 went up 1.7 percentage points to 68.9 percent.

The number of those unemployed stood at 704,000 in September, down 52,000 from a year ago. The jobless rate slipped 0.3 percentage points to 2.4 percent.

The expanded jobless rate retreated 2.1 percentage points to 9.9 percent last month, and the rate for those aged 15-29 declined 2.5 percentage points to 18.4 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 for 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 jobless rate.

The economically inactive population, who had no willingness to seek a job and remained unemployed, went down 495,000 from a year earlier to 16,191,000 in September. It kept a downward trend for 19 months in a row.

The reading for discouraged job seekers diminished 190,000 to 425,000 in the cited month.

The number of the "take-a-rest" group, who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, shrank 95,000 to 2,237,000 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.

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