South Korea sees highest jobs increase in almost 22 years

The number of people employed saw its sharpest spike in nearly 22 years in January month-on-month and was partly attributable to government spending.
By: | February 17, 2022

About 1,135,000 jobs were added in January, the most since March 2000, while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in January from December’s 3.8%, data from Statistics Korea showed.

South Korea lost jobs for a 12th straight month through March 2020 to February 2021. The number of employed people fell at the sharpest pace in more than two decades in January last year as the pandemic impacted the labour market.

By sector, about 250,000 jobs were added in healthcare and social services, while the combined number added was 249,000 in accommodation facilities, restaurants, transportation, and warehouses.

The government has allocated about a third of the total government expenditure for welfare and jobs, and plans to spend about 70% of the annual fiscal budget in the first half of this year to shore up the economy.

READ: Average wage of foreign employees in South Korea to exceed 30 million won

The latest data comes as the country’s presidential candidates formally began campaigning for the March election in what is set to be the tightest race in 20 years between the two main parties, according to Channel News Asia.