1 million pandemic-displaced persons still jobless in South Korea

In February, out of the 1.35 million persons officially unemployed, 999,000 had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
By: | March 29, 2021

According to Statistics Korea, the pandemic has impacted the local labour market in a big way, and many of those affected are still unable to find employment. 

Out of these people, a majority of 60.6% had been seeking employment for less than three months, while another 10.3% had been out of a job for more than six months. 

Another 281,000 or about 29.1% had been without a job for more than a year as of February, up 33,000 from a year earlier.  

By age group, 59,000 people in their 50s lost their jobs over the last year, and 60,000 were over-60s. For the younger age groups, the figures were lower, with people in their 30s numbering 17,000 and those in their 40s making up 8,000.  

READ: More South Korea women in their 30s drop out of the workforce

The pandemic has hit SMEs in the country particularly hard, leading to high unemployment numbers. 

As of February, the number of jobs in the country had decreased for 12 straight months. Statistics Korea said the number of employed people in the country fell by 473,000 in February compared to a year ago. That was the longest period of job decline in Korea since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, when it continued for 16 months, according to Chosunilbo.