February 14, 2019 13:07
A state-run think tank projects unemployment in Korea to reach four percent this year. Unemployment rate peaked at seven percent during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, but since then the only time it reached four percent was in 2001.
The Korea Employment Information Service on Wednesday forecast unemployment to rise 0.2 percentage points from last year to four percent, even higher than the Ministry of Strategy and Finance's outlook of 3.8 percent, the Korea Labor Institute's 3.9 percent and the Korea Development Institute's 3.9 percent.
The figures look lower than they are because they are based on the so-called economically active population, meaning they exclude anyone who has given up looking for work.
KEIS puts the economically active population at 28.12 million people this year, around 1.13 million of whom are likely to remain unemployed.
Lee Shi-kyun at KEIS said, "Last year, the economically active population shrank, but it will edge up slightly this year, which means more people won’t be able to find jobs."
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