The number of people preparing for jobs without actually seeking jobs surpassed 700,000 for the first time last month, according to Statistics Korea.
Those preparing for jobs are categorized as economically inactive, as they are not actually seeking for jobs during the preparation process.
A total of 735,000 were preparing for employment, up 13 percent from the same month the previous year. It was the largest number since the relevant tally began in January 2003.
Some 251,000 were registered with academies and training institutions to prepare for jobs, up 7.9 percent from a year ago. Some 418,000 were preparing for jobs by themselves, up 15.8 percent from the previous year.