The number of jobs last year increased 533,000 from the previous year, recording the biggest increase in 12 years.
According to the December and Annual Employment Trend reported by Statistics Korea on Jan. 14, there were 25,599,000 jobs in 2014, an increase of 533,000 from those in 2013. The previous recorded high increase was 597,000 in 2002.
The employment-to-population ratio (the rate of employees among the population aged over 15) was 60.2 percent, which increased 0.7 percent last year, also recording the largest amount after 60.9 percent in 1997. The employment-to-population ratio of people aged 15 to 64 (OECD criteria for comparison) was 65.3 percent in the same period, up 0.9 percent.
By age group, the employment of people in their 50s and 60+ increased 239,000 and 200,000, each. However, the employment of those in their 30s decreased by 21,000, largely due to the effects of the reduced population. The number of employees increased for the rest of the age groups, though.
There are 18.743 million wage earners, up 548,000 (3.0 percent). Regular employees increased (443,000 people, 3.8 percent), while day-to-day employees decreased (-35,000 people, -2.2 percent).
The average working hours per week is 43.8, a 0.7 hour increase from last year.
As the population of those searching for jobs increased, the number of unemployed people also increased. The number of unemployed people last year was 937,000, up 130,000 (16.1 percent), and the unemployment rate rose to 3.5 percent, a 0.4 percent increase from the previous year. In particular, the unemployment rate of youth (aged from 15 to 29) increased 1.0 percent compared to the previous year, recording the largest figure after the change of statistics standards in 1999.