In a promising update on the labor front, the South Korean Bureau of Statistics has reported a decline in the country’s unemployment rate to 2.5% for October, down from 2.6% in September. This follows a previous record low of 2.4% noted in August.
The employment landscape in South Korea exhibited positive trends, with the year-on-year employment rate showing consistent growth for the third consecutive month. However, the manufacturing sector faced challenges, witnessing a decline in jobs for the tenth consecutive month, aligning with a slowdown in the economy.
The total number of employed individuals in October reached 28.76 million, marking an increase of 346,000 people compared to the previous year, reflecting a growth rate of 1.2%.
Examining sector-specific employment changes, the manufacturing sector reported a reduction of 77,000 jobs in October, continuing its downward trend for the tenth consecutive month. Conversely, the real estate sector experienced a downturn, shedding 26,000 jobs amid industry struggles.
In contrast, the wholesale and retail trade sector showed a promising turnaround, adding 11,000 jobs in October. Notably, this sector’s year-on-year expansion is the first observed since May 2019, signifying a notable shift.
Further contributing to employment growth, the welfare and social services sector added 104,000 jobs, while the science and technology services sector saw an increase of 76,000 jobs last month.
Despite challenges in certain sectors, the overall decline in the unemployment rate coupled with notable expansions in employment within retail and other key service sectors suggests a nuanced picture of South Korea’s evolving job market. These dynamics signify efforts toward diversifying and stabilizing the employment landscape amidst sectoral variations.