The number of unemployed people with a bachelor's degree in South Korea surpassed 500,000 in the first quarter for the first time amid the tightened job market for young adults, government data showed Sunday.
Jobless people reached 1.17 million in the January-March period, up 1.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The number of unemployed college graduates rose 9.2 percent on-year to 543,000 over the three-month period. It is first time that their quarterly number has topped 500,000. Unemployed high school graduates were tallied at 451,000.
Moreover, the number of economically inactive people, those not seeking work within the last few weeks, edged down 0.1 percent to 16.55 million in the first quarter from a year ago.
Of them, college graduates were a record 3.53 million, up 2.4 percent on-year, while high school graduates were 5.91 million.
Experts attributed the high unemployment rate for higher-educated people to a lack of quality jobs for young jobseekers in the market amid a protracted slump in the South Korean economy.
The unemployment rate for young people, aged between 15 and 29, marked 11.3 percent last month, far higher than the country's total jobless rate of 4.2 percent. (Yonhap)