Lackluster Employment Figures Put Government's Job Policy in Spotlight open the window of AOD

Write : 2017-09-17

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The Moon Jae-in administration's job policy is facing a major test after the release of lackluster employment figures for August.
According to Statistics Korea data released Wednesday, the number of employed people in the country reached 26-point-seven million last month, up 212-thousand from a year earlier. It represents the smallest increase since February 2013.
The number of newly employed people stood above the 300-thousand mark for six consecutive months from February this year before slipping again in August.
By sector, employment growth increased in the wholesale and retail sectors, but increases slowed in construction and real estate.
In particular, the construction industry, which added over 100-thousand new hires for six months straight since February, only added around 35-thousand jobs last month.
The manufacturing sector increased employment for the third straight month, while the number of self-employed people posted negative growth for the first time in about a year, decreasing by 3,000 from a year earlier.
The nation's employment rate in August edged up to just over 61 percent, while the unemployment rate stayed the same as the same period last year at 3.6 percent.
More concerning is youth unemployment which stood at 9.4 percent, slightly up from last year and the highest since August 1999. The youth unemployment rate seems to be remaining stubbornly high, while the employment rate among the elderly is increasing.
Regarding the lackluster job figures for August, the government cited special factors such as a base effect from last year and many rainy days last month which dealt a blow to construction and day workers.
The government said the effects of the supplementary budget have also yet to kick in.
However, youth unemployment calls for more serious attention. The number of youths who are either unemployed, preparing to land a job, or have given up on job searching now exceeds 1.1 million.
The Moon government has been focusing on job creation as a priority task. Whether the extra budget will have any effect on the job market remains to be seen.

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