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Unemployment Rate Falls to 3 Pct. Level

Posted May. 13, 2010 07:32,   


The number of employed last month rose by the highest margin in 56 months and the jobless rate fell to the three-percent range, Statistics Korea said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate had exceeded four percent from January through March, and the rise in employment is raising expectations of a thawing job market on the back of full-fledged economic recovery.

The statistical office’s employment report said the number of the employed last month reached 23.92 million, up 401,000 from March for the largest increase since August 2005 (465,000).

The monthly number of people with jobs declined 16,000 in December last year from the same month the previous year. The figure, however, has steadily grown thanks to rises in the number of the employed both in manufacturing for four straight months and in construction.

A Strategy and Finance Ministry official said, “The number of jobs added by the private sector accounted for the largest share in the number of jobs created in April. The private sector added about 303,000 jobs, the largest since August 2007.”

“The government’s job creation efforts also helped to achieve the increase, but the employment recovery in the private sector stands out.”

Experts say the job market will improve thanks to a significant increase in exports and a rise in factory operations. With employment growing in manufacturing in particular, the combined number of the employed in mining and manufacturing rose more than four million in April.

The number of newly employed women, who are classified as one of the vulnerable segments of the population due to their difficulty getting jobs, was 213,000, more than that of men (187,000).

Vice Strategy and Finance Minister Yim Jong-yong said, “Employment is growing centered on the private sector, but we cannot lower our guard due to uncertainties in and out of the country,” adding, “We’ll steadily pursue short-term job creation measures.”