South Korea saw the biggest job growth in seven years last year thanks in part to strong exports.
According to Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of employed people reached 27-point-27 million in 2021, up 369-thousand from a year earlier. This is the largest increase since 2014, when 598-thousand jobs were added. It hovers just over the government’s target of 350-thousand.
Gong Mi-suk, a senior official at the statistics agency, said robust exports, as well as changes to industrial structures such as virtualization and digitalization helped create jobs.
She also attributed the growth partially to the base effect from 2020, which had the biggest job loss in 22 years due to the pandemic.
The jobless rate dropped by point-three percentage points on-year to three-point-seven percent last year, with the number of jobless people declining 71-thousand to one-point-03 million.
The employment rate for those aged 15 and older rose point-four percentage points on-year to 60-point-five percent last year.
Jobs in the health and welfare industries, which include temporary public jobs for the elderly, rose by almost 200-thousand last year. Jobs also grew in the transportation, warehouse and ICT industries.
However, jobs fell by 150-thousand in the wholesale and retail industries and by 47-thousand in restaurant and lodging businesses hit by the pandemic.