Unemployment Benefit Applications Hit Record High in January

Write : 2018-02-12 09:08:59 Update : 2018-02-12 10:03:27

Unemployment Benefit Applications Hit Record High in January

The number of new applications for unemployment benefits hit a record high in January.

According to data by the Ministry of Employment and Labor on Sunday, 152-thousand people newly applied for unemployment benefits last month, up 37-thousand or 32-point-two percent from a year earlier.

It's the largest figure and growth since the nation started compiling related data in 2013. 

The number of unemployed people increased by 18-point-eight percent, while employment grew by 13-point-six percent last month. 

The labor ministry said it is too early to say that the minimum wage hike caused the sharp increase last month, adding that there were more working days this January compared to last year for people to apply for benefits.

It also attributed the sudden increase to a downturn in the construction, shipbuilding and auto industries.

The hourly minimum wage rose by 16-point-four percent in the New Year, the highest increase in 17 years.

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