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Korea's jobless rate rises in Sept., sluggish job creation continues

South Korea's jobless rate rose slightly in September due to a fall in employment in the retail and restaurant sectors, with poorer-than-expected job creation continuing, government data showed Friday.

The unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent last month, up 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier, marking the highest rate for September since September 2005, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

The number of employed people reached 27.05 million in September, up 45,000 from the same month in 2017, according to the data.

The unemployment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- was 8.8 percent, down 0.4 percentage point from the previous year.


The employment rate stood at 66.8 percent in September, down 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, with the corresponding figure for young people at 42.9 percent, up 0.7 percentage point over the cited period.

The number of newly added jobs improved last month, after staying below 10,000 per month for the second straight month. The retail segment saw a reduction of 100,000 jobs in September compared with a year earlier, and the lodging and restaurant sector also shed 86,000 jobs last month.

The manufacturing sector also saw the reduction of 42,000 jobs last month.

In contrast, the healthcare and IT sectors added 133,000 and 73,000 jobs, respectively.

"A slowdown in the reduction of jobs in the manufacturing sector helped boost job additions, but any sharp rise in job creation is unlikely for the time being," an official at the statistics agency said.

The number of unemployed reached 1.02 million in September, hovering over the 1-million mark for the ninth straight month.

In June, the government cut its job creation target to 180,000 this year from 320,000.

Since May, the government has been implementing a 3.9 trillion-won ($3.69 billion) extra budget largely to create jobs.

The push comes as President Moon Jae-in has called for all-out efforts to create quality jobs.

The supplementary budget is the second of its kind under the Moon administration. Last year, the government set aside an 11 trillion-won supplementary budget that focused on creating high quality jobs. (Yonhap)