Retail in Asia


South Korea employment rate hits 22-year high in May

In May, the number of individuals employed in South Korea climbed by more than 900,000 from the previous year. This is the highest monthly gain observed in 22 years. According to state data released, males in their 60s and older accounted for 32.4 percent of the total rise.

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According to Statistics Korea, the number of jobs in Korea reached 28.48 million last month, an increase of 935,000 from the previous year. This was the highest increase since May 2000, when a 1.03 million gain was reported.

Officials ascribed the sharp increase to a post-pandemic rapid economic recovery.

Detailed data revealed that younger or middle generations, notably men under 50, had made relatively little progress in terms of employment conditions.

Overall, the number of males employed climbed by 468,000. Men in their 60s and older grew by 303,000, accounting for 64.7 percent of men’s growth (468,000) and 32.4 percent of all men and women’s growth (935,000), while men in their 50s grew by 105,000. Those in their 40s climbed by only 13,000 people.

Males in their 30s and men aged 15-19, on the other hand, saw drops of 20,000 and 3,000, respectively. Job growth for males in their 20s remained at 70,000.

Women faced a similar situation. Although women in their 60s and 50s gained 156,000 and 134,000 employment, respectively, women in their 40s and 30s gained only 23,000 and 25,000 jobs.

This indicated that a jump in local government or big retailer-arranged temporary work for seniors accounted for over half (49 percent) of total job growth.

Last month, statistical data revealed that men still outnumbered women in terms of employment, with 72.4 percent vs. 53.8 percent. The same statistics a year ago were 70.5 percent vs. 52.1 percent.

In terms of sector, information and communication grew by 10.4 percent, while public and social welfare administration grew by 8.5 percent, agriculture and fisheries grew by 7.9 percent, logistics grew by 7.7 percent, real estate grew by 6.5 percent and real estate grew by 3.4 percent.

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“The number of jobs in-person services increased on the back of going back to normal life (from formerly social distancing). And the number of economically inactive population declined,” said Mi-sook Kong, statistics Korea director general.