Labor minister says employment situation shows signs of recovery
SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- The government's top labor policy maker said Friday the nation's employment situation has been recovering lately and called for a swift execution of the recently approved supplementary budget to expedite the job market recovery.
Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Jae-kap said the employment sector has shown signs of a significant recovery from the coronavirus shock, thanks in part to easing of the social distancing measures and fiscal support programs for job creation.
The number of employed people in South Korea fell by 473,000 on-year in February, compared with a reduction of 982,000 recorded in January, according to Statistics Korea.
"Considering the rising COVID-19 vaccinations and a steady improvement in exports, the job market recovery trend is expected to continue into March," Lee said in a meeting of the government task force on the employment and labor crisis.
The minister then vowed to swiftly execute his ministry's share of the latest extra budget, estimated at 2.1 trillion won (US$1.86 billion).
The National Assembly on Thursday approved an extra budget worth nearly 15 trillion won to help prop up small merchants and the vulnerable hit hard by the yearlong COVID-19 pandemic. The extra budget includes emergency employment stability subsidies for freelancers and workers of special employment types.
Lee said his ministry will move swiftly to deliver 540 billion won in emergency livelihood subsidies to a total of 940,000 people, including special employment workers, freelancers and company taxi drivers.
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