A woman is interviewed during a job fair in Suwon City Hall in Gyeonggi Province earlier this year. (Yonhap)
SEJONG -- The number of discouraged workers in South Korea hit a new monthly high in June amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy had 583,000 discouraged workers, up 46,000 from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
It was the largest tally for June since related data tracking began in 2014. The number has also renewed monthly highs for the 16th straight month.
Discouraged workers refer to those who are currently unemployed and have not sought to find jobs in the last four weeks due to no suitable job options or other reasons, though they are eligible for employment and are willing to work, with the experience of having looked for jobs in the past year.
The increase in the number of discouraged workers is seen as resulting from the flaccid labor market due to the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak.
South Koreans in their 20s and 30s accounted for 46.8 percent of the total discouraged workers, with people aged 60 and older taking up 28.6 percent, 8.2 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
The office said the number of senior discouraged workers grew at a fast pace as more people in the age bracket are willing to work.
The number of employed people aged 60 and older came to 5.62 million in June, up 399,000 from a year ago, with that of jobless seniors rising by 11,000 to 181,000, according to the data. (Yonhap)