Job additions in South Korea hit 22-year high

The country is gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels with an addition of 816,000 jobs in 2022, the highest increase recorded in 20 years.
By: | January 12, 2023

South Korea’s employment rate for 2022 was 28.08 million, an increase of 816,000 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. The increase marks the largest in more than 20 years, an indication that the economy is gradually returning to pre-pandemic normalcy.

Back in 2000, the nation reported an on-year increase of 882,000 jobs. The figures from last year were also significantly higher than the growth of 370,000 recorded in 2021.

Kong Mi-suk, a senior official from Statistics Korea, explained, “In 2022, the recovery of everyday life, the increase of activities and exports, and the rise in demand for care services led to the overall increase in the number of people with jobs. But due to the economic conditions from home and abroad, and following the base effect, the growth has slowed in the second half.”

Most new jobs were created in the healthcare, social welfare, manufacturing, accommodation, and restaurant industries, while wholesale, retail, finance, and insurance jobs fell.

The on-year job growth recorded in 2022 was largely accounted for by people in their 60s, who accounted for 452,000 jobs, or 55%. The employment rate among those aged 15 and above increased by 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier, to 62.1%, reported The Korea Herald.

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Data also showed that the country added 509,000 jobs on a year-over-year basis in December, reaching 27.8 million jobs. Although South Korea continued to add jobs for 22 consecutive months in December, it continued to slow for a seventh consecutive month due to concerns about an economic recession.

The overall growth in December was primarily led by those aged 60 or older, which accounted for 440,000. Those in their 50s and 30s followed with 110,000 and 42,000, respectively. The number of jobs for people in their 40s and 20s, on the other hand, dropped by 57,000 and 21,000, respectively.