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Service sector accounts for over 70 percent of employment: report

All Headlines 11:25 March 14, 2010

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- The service sector accounted for more than 70 percent of South Korea's employment for the second straight month in January, indicating the continuing advancement of the nation's economic structure, a government report said Sunday.

According to Statistics Korea, the number of employees in the service sector reached 16.4 million in December last year, accounting for 70.6 percent of the nation's employed workforce. In January, the comparable figure was 70.8 percent.

It is the first time that the figure topped the 70-percent mark, according to the statistics office.

The portion of employment in the service sector against the total topped the 50-percent mark for the first time in 1992. The figure has continued to rise since then, reaching 60.3 percent in 1998 and 69.3 percent in 2009.

On the other hand, employment in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors has continued to decline, according to the report.

The share of employment in the country's agriculture sector against the total stood at 17.9 percent in 1990, but has recently declined to below the 10-percent level. Last year, the figure stood at 7 percent.

The comparable figure for the manufacturing sector was 27.6 percent in 1990. But the reading dropped to 19.7 percent in 1998 as the country was hit hard by the Asian financial crisis. In 2009, the figure was 16.3 percent.

"It is urgent for us to maintain jobs in the manufacturing and agriculture segments while offering more high-quality jobs in the medical and social welfare sector," said an official at the finance ministry.

sam@yna.co.kr
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