Published : 2013-09-11 08:35
Updated : 2013-09-11 09:24
South Korea's jobless rate inched down in August from a month earlier and job creation also accelerated, raising hopes that labor market conditions are improving, a government report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Statistics Korea, the jobless rate stood at 3 percent last month, down from 3.1 percent in July. The jobless rate adjusted for inflation also fell from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent.
Job creation is picking up speed. The number of employed people was 25.29 million in August, up 432,000 from a year earlier, which was larger than 367,000 tallied a month earlier, the report showed.
The on-year job growth represented the largest in 11 months.
"Salaried workers continue to increase and the self-employed are also declining at a slower pace, which helped push the number of job creation to over 400,000 for the first time in 11 months," the agency said.
The health and social welfare service sector gained 175,000 jobs in August compared with a year earlier, leading the overall job generation.
The lodging and dining sector also added 96,000 positions and the transportation sector gained 56,000 more jobs than a year earlier, the report showed.
However, the manufacturing sector added only 5,000 jobs, which is much smaller than the previous month's 96,000. The wholesale and retail sector shed 59,000 jobs.
The report showed that the jobless rate for those aged 15-29 stood at 7.6 percent in August, down from 8.3 percent in July. It is still higher than the 6.4 percent recorded in the same month a year earlier, according to the report.
The latest job data comes as the country's economy is showing some signs of rebounding from its prolonged slumping growth trend.
South Korea's gross domestic product expanded 1.1 percent in the April-June period from three months earlier, quickening from a 0.8 percent on-quarter gain in the first quarter, according to the central bank.
The economy grew less than 1 percent on-quarter for the previous eight straight quarters.
To kick-start the economy, the government has unveiled diverse measures including a 17.3 trillion won ($15.9 billion) extra budget. The central bank also made the first rate cut in seven months in May in a bid to support the government's stimulus drive.
Meanwhile, the report showed that the employment rate slightly dropped to 60 percent last month from 60.4 percent in July. The rate based on the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was 64.6 percent last month, also down from 65.1 percent in July.
Those figures are lower than the Park Geun-hye administration's target to raise the country's overall employment rate to 70 percent during its five-year term. (Yonhap News)