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Unemployment Rises for 1st Time in 5 Years

Posted January. 15, 2009 08:34,   


The unemployment rate last month rose for the first time since October 2003, with the number of jobs lost reaching 12,000.

A report released by the National Statistical Office yesterday said the number of employed was 23.245 million last month, down 0.1 percent from 23.257 million in December 2007.

After decreasing for eight straight months last year, year-on-year job growth finally posted minus growth in December.

The government said it will spend more budgets to create 100,000 jobs this year. Many experts, however, predict meeting that target will prove difficult due to economic difficulties.

The ranks of the unemployed have risen among those aged between 15 and 29 and day and non-wage workers, including the self-employed and people who work for small family businesses for no pay.

The number of employed youths between ages 15 and 29 decreased 3.8 percent from a year ago to 395,900, that of daily workers dropped 6.3 percent to 204,000, and that of non-wage workers fell 1.4 percent.

On the other hand, those who worked less than 17 hours per week jumped 20.6 percent from the previous year to 95,600, showing that job security has sharply deteriorated.

As the number of jobs falls, the unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage point from a year ago to 3.3 percent. The youth jobless rate grew 0.3 percentage point to 7.6 percent.

The Labor Ministry also said 93,060 people applied for unemployment benefits last month, up 84.3 percent from 50,504 a year ago.

“In the car and construction industries, many suppliers without sufficient funds are expected to go under. Given that, more people will apply for unemployment benefits,” a ministry source said.

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