SEOUL: South Korea's jobless rate posted the highest January figure in nine years as the elderly unemployed increased despite the government's projects to create job opportunities for the older generation, a government report showed on Wednesday.
Unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in January, up 0.8 percentage points from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. It was the highest January figure since January 2010 when the rate recorded 5 percent, reports Xinhua.The number of those unemployed totaled 1,224,000 in January, up 204,000 from a year ago. It was higher than any January reading since January 2000.
The unemployed reduced among those in their 30s, but the readings for those in their 50s and 60s or higher gained 48,000 and 139,000, respectively.
The elderly unemployed expanded last month as the government launched projects to create job opportunities for the older generation, who rushed but failed to find a job and raised the number of the unemployed.
The official unemployment rate refers to those who are immediately available for work but fail to get a job for the past four weeks despite efforts to actively seek a job.
The so-called expanded jobless rate, which reflects labor market conditions more accurately, went up 1.2 percentage points over the year to 13 percent in January, the highest since the relevant data began to be compiled in 2015.
The expanded jobless rate among the younger generation aged 15-29 advanced 1.4 percentage points from a year earlier to 23.2 percent in January.The expanded jobless rate adds those who are discouraged from searching 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.
The higher youth unemployment rate stemmed from the higher number of college students getting a part-time job during the winter vacation and the high number of potential college graduates who were set to officially graduate in February.