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Roundup: S.Korea's youth jobless rate surges to 11.2 pct amid lack of decent jobs

Xinhua, May 11, 2017 Adjust font size:

Jobless rate among South Korean youths surged above 11 percent last month amid the lack of decent jobs in the manufacturing and finance sectors, a government report showed Thursday.

The unemployment rate for those aged 15-29 reached 11.2 percent in April, according Statistics Korea.

It was higher than any April figures tallied since the statistical agency began compiling the data in June 1999.

The so-called sentiment unemployment rate among the younger generation reached 23.6 percent in April, up 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier.

The sentiment rate began to be compiled in January 2015 to more accurately reflect the labor market conditions.

The official unemployment rate refers to those who were immediately available for work but failed to get a job in the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.

The sentiment rate adds those who are too discouraged to seek a job, those who work part-time against their will to work full-time and those who prepare to get a job after college graduation to the official jobless rate.

Amidst the worst labor market conditions, the younger generation complained that they are living a hell-like life. According to some local media estimation, almost half of college graduates failed to find a regular job.

Decent jobs were increasingly hard to get in the manufacturing, the finance, the information and communications technology (IT) industries.

Manufacturers kept refraining from increasing workers since July last year. The number of those employed in the manufacturing sector dropped 62,000 in April. The figure in the electric, transport, ICT and finance sector reduced 12,000 compared with a year ago.

The number of self-employed continued to rise as the government-led restructuring is under way among troubled shipbuilders and shipping firms.

Job creation is the top priority, which President Moon Jae-in pledged to place for his management of state affairs.

As the president, Moon gave his first instruction to establish a committee for job creation as a presidential body.

On his campaign trail, Moon said he would become a president of "job creation", vowing to draw up extra budget for job creation and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the public sector.

Meanwhile, the number of those employed totaled 26,577,000 in April, up 424,000 from a year earlier.

The job growth, which stayed below 300,000 from December to January, rose to 371,000 in February and above 400,000 for two months through April.

Despite the growing number of employment, the jobless rate advanced 0.3 percentage points over the year to 4.2 percent in April. It was the highest among figures tallied in April, except for 4.5 percent recorded in 2000.

The number of those unemployed reached the record high of 1,174,000 in April, up 99,000 from a year earlier.

The higher unemployment rate was attributed to more people who rushed to the labor market for getting a job. Endit