South Korea add more jobs but growth slows down in July

COVID-19 curbs slowed down job growth in July, although the country reported job additions for its fifth consecutive month.
By: | August 13, 2021

Despite reporting job additions for its fifth consecutive month in July, South Korea’s jobs growth pace slowed in the month as employment in the face-to-face service segments was deeply impacted as the country tackles its latest wave of COVID-19 cases, official data showed.

The number of employed people hit 27.65 million, an increase by 542,000 year-on-year, according to data from Statistics Korea. However, the job additions in July were lower than the year-on-year increase of 582,000 in June.

The jobless rate fell 0.8 percentage points year-on-year to 3.2% in July. The unemployment rate for young adults, between 15 and 29 years of age, declined by 2.5 percentage points year-on-year to 7.2%.

All age groups reported job additions, except for those in their 30s. The number of employed people in their 30s fell 122,000 on-year, registering its 17th consecutive month of decline.

South Korea has consistently reported job additions since March this year, when 314,000 jobs were added year-on-year, marking the first job growth in 13 months.

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July’s job growth was attributed to the nation’s economic recovery, “but it is hard to gauge the job market situation for August amid spikes in COVID-19 infections,” Jeong Dong-myeong, a senior official at Statistics Korea, told reporters, according to The Korea Herald

Jobs data in August is likely to reflect the impact of the toughest-ever virus curbs, warns Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.