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(LEAD) Job losses extend into July amid pandemic, unemployment rate up to 4 pct

All News 08:34 August 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details throughout, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea lost about 277,000 jobs in July, marking a decline in the number of the employed for a fifth consecutive month, as the new coronavirus pandemic strained business activities, data showed Wednesday.

The country's jobless rate rose by 0.1 percentage point on-year to 4 percent in July, with the number of employed people falling to 27.1 million, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the longest fall since the eight months of decline posted in 2009 amid the global financial crisis. The unemployment rate was also the highest for any July since 2000.

The unemployment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- reached 9.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage point on-year.

Job seekers take a look at the floor plan of a recruitment event held in Seoul on July 15, 2020. (Yonhap)

The coronavirus outbreak has hit temporary workers hard, with the number of those workers plunging by 395,000 in July, the data showed. Jobs for day laborers shed 44,000 over the period.

The total number of unemployed people here reached 1.13 million in July, up 41,000 on-year. It marked the highest rate since 1.47 million posted in the same month of 1999.

The increase in the number of unemployed people was mostly attributable to those aged 40 and above.

By industry, the accommodation and food service segment saw a decrease of 225,000 jobs last month, and the wholesale and retail sector lost 127,000 jobs.

In contrast, the social welfare sector gained 161,000 jobs in June, and the logistics industry added 58,000 jobs.

The employment rate for those aged between 15 and 64 reached 66 percent, down 1.1 percentage points on-year.

The number of economically active people decreased 236,000 to reach 28.2 million, while those inactive expanded by 502,000 to reach 16.5 million, the data showed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been widely considered to have had a full-fledged impact on local job markets over the second half considering the time lag of one to two quarters of an economic crisis.

colin@yna.co.kr
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