Youth Unemployment Soars to New High

  • By Park Yu-yeon

    December 14, 2017 12:13

    The number of newly employed workers in Korea floundered below 300,000 in November for the second month running and youth unemployment soared to a new high.

    Statistics Korea on Wednesday said 26.85 million were in employment in November, up 253,000 or one percent from a year ago.

    Until July, over 300,000 people were newly employed every month, but the number fell to 212,000 in August. It recovered to 314,000 in September, only to plunge below the 300,000 mark again the following month.

    A slowdown in construction and tough conditions for small businesses were the main reasons behind the low job growth. In October 118,000 new jobs were created in construction, but only 68,000 in November.

    The number of people starting their own small businesses grew by 43,000 in October but plunged to just 4,000 in November.

    Statistics Korea said cold weather reduced construction and prompted fewer people to spend money, dealing a blow to restaurant and lodging businesses.

    Unemployment stood at 3.2 percent last month, up 0.1 percentage point on-year, but for people between 15 to 29 it stood at 9.2 percent, up one percentage point and a record high. The real youth unemployment rate, which includes jobseekers, stood at a whopping 21.4 percent, up 0.1 percentage point.

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