South Korea’s jobs growth surges to 7-year high in 2021

This was the most number of jobs added in seven years as the labour market bounces back to pre-pandemic levels.
By: | January 17, 2022

The number of employed people reached 27.27 million last year, increasing by 369,000 year-on-year, according to Statistics Korea. The number rebounded from the reduction of 218,000 in 2020, marking the sharpest increase in seven years since 2014.

“The job market recovered last year due to the base effect, robust exports and changes in industrial structures, such as demand for contactless services and digitalisation,” said Kong Mi-sook, a senior Statistics Korea official.

By sector, the number of jobs in the services industry grew by 292,000 last year due to strong labour demand in the health and welfare and the transport sectors that offset weak demand from companies in other sub-sectors.

The number of jobs in the health and welfare sector rose by 198,000, and those in the transport and warehousing and the information and communication segments increased by 103,000 and 54,000, respectively.

Sectors which saw a decrease in the number of jobs were the lodging and eatery and the wholesale and retail segments which lost 47,000 and 150,000 jobs, respectively. The arts, sports and leisure sector lost 29,000 jobs and the number of jobs in the manufacturing sector fell by 8,000.

READ: South Korea to provide new fiscal support for pandemic-hit firms

By age group, employment among those aged 60 or higher rose the highest at 330,000, while that for those in their 20s and 50s grew 105,000 and 66,000, respectively. The number of jobs among those in their 30s and 40s fell by 107,000 and 35,000, respectively.