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103,000 Jobs Lost in January

Posted February. 12, 2009 07:48,   


The domestic job market is hurtling towards a crisis, with 103,000 jobs lost last month year-on-year.

The Korean National Statistical Office yesterday said the number of the employed last month was 22,861,000, down 0.4 percent from a year ago. This marked the steepest year-on-year decline since September 2003, when 189,000 jobs disappeared.

Monthly job growth has steadily declined. From March to September last year, 100,000 to 200,000 new jobs were created every month, but the figure dropped has below 100,000 since October, with 97,000 jobs added in October and 78,000 in November last year.

Job growth swung into negative territory in December with 12,000 jobs disappearing.

The number of jobs for those aged between 15 and 29 were hit the hardest, falling by 240,000 from a year earlier. The number of non-salaried workers including the self-employed and volunteers dropped 123,000.

The number of temporary workers with contracts under one year plunged 134,000 and that of day laborers dropped 133,000.

Unemployment last month was 3.6 percent, up from 3.3 percent a year ago, with the rate for those aged between 15 and 29 growing 1.1 percentage points to 8.2 percent. The employment rate was 57.3 percent, the lowest since February 2001.

The number of unemployed last month was 848,000, up 73,000 from a year ago. Given the rapidly worsening job market, this number is expected to exceed one million soon.