S Korea job­less rate jumps to 6 year high at 4.1pc

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

South Korea's un­em­ploy­ment rate rose to a six-year high last month as more col­lege grad­u­ates failed to land jobs amid slow­ing eco­nomic growth. Dis­tor­tions from the lu­nar new year hol­i­day were also a sea­sonal fac­tor be­hind the rise.

The sea­son­ally ad­justed job­less rate climbed to 4.1 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary, the high­est since Fe­bru­ary 2010, Sta­tis­tics Korea said on Wed­nes­day. The agency said the youth un­em­ploy­ment rate for those ages 15-29 was 12.5 per­cent, the high­est on record, with col­lege grad­u­ates rush­ing to join the work­force af­ter grad­u­a­tion.

"More than 220,000 peo­ple ap­plied for civil-ser­vant job hir­ing since late Jan­uary, which was a record high. The stiff com­pe­ti­tion in the job mar­ket is leav­ing many young peo­ple with­out jobs," said Sim Won Bo, di­rec­tor at Sta­tis­tics Korea.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Yoo Il Ho has vowed to place em­pha­sis on job cre­ation as ex­ter­nal un­cer­tainty in­clud­ing the slow­ing Chi­nese econ­omy hurts sen­ti­ment at home. The govern­ment is count­ing on do­mes­tic de­mand to achieve 3.1 per­cent growth this year as ex­ports have fallen for 14 straight months.

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