South Korea's jobless rate remained unchanged in May from a year earlier, but it fell sharply from the previous month as the private sector increased employment amid an economic recovery, a government report showed Wednesday.
The jobless rate was 3.2 percent last month, unchanged from the same month a year earlier, according to the report by Statistics Korea. However, it was down from 3.7 percent in April.
The number of working people came to 24.66 million last month, up 355,000 from a year earlier. The on-year job growth, mostly driven by employment in the private sector, slowed slightly from the 379,000 tallied in April, the report showed.
Leading the job growth, the health and social welfare service sector added 215,000 jobs last month. Manufacturers provided 101,000 more positions compared with a year earlier, the report showed.
The number of unemployed, who failed to land work despite their job-hunting efforts, totaled 819,000, down from the previous month's 936,000, according to the report.
The labor market conditions remained cloudy for younger people, though it improved compared with a month earlier.
The jobless rate among those aged 15-29 was 7.3 percent last month, up from 6.4 percent a year earlier. It was, however, down from 8.7 percent in the previous month, the report showed.
Job creation is one of the top priorities for the government as it is striving to achieve a sustained economic recovery, believing that employment will boost domestic demand.
In his inauguration speech on June 2, Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan affirmed that he will focus on creating jobs and stabilizing prices in order to help low- and mid-income people benefit from the ongoing economic recovery.
The government earlier said that it aims to create 280,000 jobs this year. It expects the economy to grow 5 percent in 2011 and inflation to stabilize at around 3 percent.