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Coronavirus hits jobs for young S. Koreans hardest

Young South Korean workers have borne the brunt of the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak that first struck Asia's fourth-largest economy in late January, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed South Koreans began to dwindle in March in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 as the flu-like disease made a big dent in the economy.

The first outbreak resulted in a tumble in the number of employed people in April, and a resurgence of infections that started in mid-August jolted the local job market a month later.

According to the data from Statistics Korea, nearly 420,000 Koreans aged 15-39 lost their jobs in April, compared with a decline of 195,000 in March.

The comparable figure was 333,000 for those in their 40s and 50s. In contrast, the number of employed people aged 60 or older increased by 274,000.

In September, the number of employed people in the 15-39 age group sank by slightly over 500,000. Jobs for those in their 40s and 50s decreased by 309,000, while the number of employed workers aged 60 or older swelled by 419,000.

The data also showed the coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in the number of young regular employees.

The number of regular workers aged 15-29 came to 2.33 million in September, down 53,000 from a year earlier, and that for people in their 30s fell by 202,000 to 3.74 million.

South Korea's jobless rate stood at 3.6 percent in September, up 0.5 percentage point from a year earlier, and the country lost about 392,000 jobs due to the pandemic. (Yonhap)