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S.Korea’s February jobless rate falls record low -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This is a woman looking at the information for a job in Seoul (South Korea), April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

By Joori Roh

SEOUL (Reuters] -South Korea’s annual unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in February. Jobs growth remained at a nearly 22-year high, despite the fact that the base was low and government fiscal spending.

Statistics Korea data revealed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 2.7% last month. This is the lowest level since June 1999 data release. The January figure was 3.6%.

There was an increase in the number of people employed by 1.03 million compared with February last year. It is close to January’s employment growth of 1.135million which was the largest since March 2000.

The February figures also fell when compared to very low readings from the previous year.

Through February 2021 the country saw 12 consecutive months of job loss. The nation also experienced a record 5.2% jobless rate in January 2021. This was due to the coronavirus affecting the national labour market.

Data analysis showed that 254,000 new jobs in social and healthcare services were created in February 2022. This is a quarter of all the jobs, and 135,000 were added to transportation and warehouses.

The wholesale and retail industries saw 47,000 job losses compared to a year prior. However, 32,000 jobs in the manufacturing industry rose but this was less than one month ago and there has been no growth.

Omicron’s rapid-proliferating variant is likely to impact the otherwise bleak outlook in these areas. The country reported a record daily of 400,741 coronavirus new cases on Tuesday.

Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency stated that 1.78 million people were forced to remain at home due to treatment.

The Wednesday jobs data is released a week following the tight election in which Yoon Suk Yeol, the conservative South Korean opposition candidate won the presidency. Jobs are one of the biggest challenges facing the new president.

In order to support the economy, about three quarters of total government spending has been allocated to welfare and employment. The government also promised to use approximately 70% of the fiscal budget annually in the first six months of 2022.

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