S. Korea adds fewer than 100,000 jobs for 2nd month in June

July 10, 2024

South Korea added fewer than 100,000 jobs for the second consecutive month in June due to the slowing growth of manufacturing jobs and the weak construction industry, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people came to 28.91 million last month, up 96,000 from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

In May, 80,000 new jobs were added on-year, which was the fewest since February 2021, when the country shed 473,000 positions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January and February, the monthly job additions surpassed the 300,000 level, but the figure fell to 173,000 in March before rising to 261,000 new jobs in April.

“Hot weather and other temporary factors have affected the job growth. We also saw a larger fall in new hiring in the construction sector and in the number of self-employed people,” Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok said during a meeting of economy-related ministers.

A job fair is crowded with jobseekers in Seoul, in this file photo taken July 3, 2024. (Yonhap)
A job fair is crowded with jobseekers in Seoul, in this file photo taken July 3, 2024. (Yonhap)

The weak job market came as the number of jobs for those aged 15-29 fell by 149,000.

People in their 40s also had 106,000 fewer positions last month.

But jobs for those aged 60 and older rose by 258,000 on-year, and those for those in their 30s and 50s grew 91,000 and 2,000, respectively.

By sector, the manufacturing sector had 9,000 more jobs in June, the seventh on-year gain, on rising exports.

But the growth has slowed down from 100,000 new jobs in April and 38,000 positions in May, as the computer and electronics parts fields shed a larger number of jobs, according to the agency.

Jobs in the health and welfare sector advanced 4.2 percent on-year, or 120,000, and new hiring in the accommodation and dining sector went up 2 percent, or 47,000.

But 66,000 jobs were lost from the construction sector in June amid poor industry performances and the unusually hot weather.

The wholesale and retail sector also shed 51,000 jobs, the fourth consecutive fall.

The employment rate of people aged 15-64 remained unchanged at 69.9 percent, while the jobless rate rose 0.2 percentage point to 2.9 percent.

The number of economically inactive people went up 21,000 on-year to 15.79 million last month, marking the first rise in 40 months, the data showed.

“The government will closely monitor the job market situation and make efforts to boost domestic demand. We will come up with tailored, timely measures to create more jobs,” Choi said.