More than half a million people in Korea found work in January.
Data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday shows that around 536,000 people landed jobs last month, up nearly 100,000 from December, marking the largest monthly gain in just under two years. The government institute said the bulk of the new jobs were created in the service and agriculture sectors.
However, it wasn't all good news.
The unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent in January, up half a percentage point from one month earlier. Meanwhile, the number of people categorized as "economically inactive" which includes those who have given up looking for jobs, jumped by around 400,000 from December to nearly 17 million.
The plight of young jobseekers, mainly those in their teens and twenties, also worsened. The youth unemployment rate stood at 8 percent, up from December's 7.7 percent. This is the highest rate since last April, when nearly one in 10 people aged 15 to 29 were out of work.