It has been found that South Korea’s unemployment rate is on the rise due to the ongoing economic recession and restructuring of major corporations. The number of manufacturing jobs in the country fell by no less than 160,000 in just one year.
The Korea National Statistical Office announced on February 15 that the number of South Koreans who gave up on finding a job during the past one-year period totaled 589,000 in January this year, the highest level since 2014.
The number of such people had been 414,000 in September last year but increased by more than 170,000 in just four months. Most of them are young people. The youth unemployment rate taking those young people into account reached 22.5% last month to be at the highest level since records began in 2015. The rate had been 21.8% in January 2015 and 21.9% in January 2016.
The youth unemployment rate not including those young people was 8.9% last month, down 0.9 percentage points from a year earlier. The decline, however, can be regarded as an illusion that is attributable to an increase in the number of those who gave up on finding a job. “South Korean companies hired less people and this resulted in less job-seeking activities by the youth, which, in turn, led to the decline in unemployment rate,” the Korea National Statistical Office explained.