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Exports created a record high 4.47m jobs in 2017: report

South Korean export growth helped create a record 4.47 million jobs in 2017, a report by a local think tank showed Sunday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy shipped out $573.7 billion worth of goods last year, the highest amount tallied in a one-year period, with such gains contributing to a large number of new jobs in the country, the findings by the Institute for International Trade showed.

The institute said the total exceeded the 4.08 million posts created by exports in 2016, with the job creation effect of exports to all positions created reaching 16.8 percent last year for a gain of 1.3 percentage points vis-a-vis the year before.

By industry, autos contributed 640,000 new jobs, followed by 360,000 for semiconductors.

Containers stacked near the port of Busan (Yonhap)
Containers stacked near the port of Busan (Yonhap)

Despite the gains, the IIT under the Korea International Trade Association said the number of jobs created per $1 million in exports stood at 7.79 last year from 8.22 in 2016.

“The reason for the falloff in job creation is mainly due to a poor showing by textiles and consumer electronics that generate more jobs than other areas," the think tank said.

The latest report then said export contribution to economic growth reached 64.5 percent, the highest since the 66 percent tallied in 2012.

It said a rise in volume and the rise in the unit price of goods shipped abroad all contributed to economic growth for the country.

The report said the effect of exports increasing imports rose 0.7 percentage point to 44.1 percent last year, with the value-added ratio of outbound shipments on the local economy dipping slightly to 55.1 percent from 55.9 percent in 2016. (Yonhap)