Some good news regarding the Korean economy: unemployment is down. According to Statistics Korea, the jobless rate dropped to 3.4 percent last month, down from 3.7 percent in July.
All that glitters is not gold however, that figure represents a 0.1 percentage point rise from a year earlier.
“The steady rise in employment in the manufacturing, hospitality and certain service sectors improved the annual jobless rate somewhat, although the job losses in wholesale and retail businesses caused the number of new posts created to fall,” said Sim Won-bo, head of the agency’s employment statistics division.
The report went on to say that the economy added 256,000 jobs in August, down from 326,000 in July. This is the first time since April (216,000) that the number broke the 300,000 mark.
The unemployment rate for people between the ages of 15 and 29 was 8 percent in August, which was a drop from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the lowest since October last year.
The finance ministry claimed the jump in jobs mainly due to the “high base effect” of Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, falling in early September of last year. This year Chuseok falls on Sept. 27 and will push up the number of jobs created for September rather than August as it did last year.