SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s unemployment rate fell to a record low in August, government data showed on Friday, while the number of employed people rose for the 18th consecutive month.
The country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August fell to 2.5% from 2.9% in July, marking the lowest level since data began to be released in June 1999, according to Statistics Korea.
The number of employees increased by 807,000 compared to the same month a year earlier, extending annual earnings for the eighteenth consecutive month. But the pace of gains was below 826K in July and 841K in June.
“Employment growth is expected to slow in the future as doubts grow over deteriorating external conditions and weak consumption due to rising inflation and higher interest rates,” Vice Finance Minister Pang Kee-sun said at an economic policy meeting after the data was released.
The increase was mostly driven by the manufacturing sector, which added 240 thousand employees, which is the largest under the current classification that started in 2013, followed by the health and social services sector “123 thousand” and then the agriculture and fisheries sector with 9 thousand employees.
By age group, those aged 60 and over accounted for more than half by adding 454,000, while workers in their 50s, 30s and 20s increased by 182,000, 98,000 and 65,000, respectively.