|TITLE||S. Korea's jobless rate dips to 3.8 pct in May|
South Korea's jobless rate edged down in May as more people were hired in the manufacturing and service sectors, a government report showed Wednesday.
According to the report by Statistics Korea, the jobless rate stood at 3.8 percent last month, down from 3.9 percent in April. The number, however, rose 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May also moved up to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent tallied in April.
The number of employed people stood at 26.18 million last month from 25.9 million in April, with 379,000 new jobs being created on-year, the report showed.
The increase in jobs represents a sharp gain from the 216,000 new positions created in April, and the highest number reached since December of last year.
Manufacturing added 140,000 jobs last month with hospitality creating 143,000 positions. Social services contributed 80,000, along with 67,000 more from facility maintenance and support operations, the report showed.
"There was a drop in people hired in the agrofisheries and certain private services, but increased demand for workers in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors helped push up the number of positions created overall," said Sim Won-bo, head of the agency's employment statistics division.
Another reason for more jobs created and a dip in the unemployment rate can be found in more young people getting hired last month, he said.
"The number of young people that found jobs rose 1.2 percentage point on-year that helped employment statistics for last month," the official said.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 15 and 29 dropped to 9.3 percent in May from 10.2 percent a month earlier. This is the lowest reading after 9.2 percent reported for January.
The so-called labor underutilization indicator was down to 11 percent last month from 11.3 in April.
The indicator is based on guidelines made by the International Labor Organization and reflects the number of people who are underemployed and those who currently hold part-time jobs but want full-time work.
This data also counts unemployed people who have given up looking for work not by choice but due to other circumstances, which makes them potential job seekers.
The still high number is an indication that employment conditions felt by ordinary people are worse than what official jobless figures show.
Starting last year, the statistical office decided to provide the indicator to give a more accurate picture of the country's labor market situation.
The finance ministry said May's employment and jobless numbers improved mainly due to a rebound in hiring by certain service sectors and consistent demand for workers in manufacturing that grew by more than 100,000 for 13 months in a row.
"A rise in employment numbers for young people and women also contributed to the improvement," it said.
While jobs created in the agrofisheries and financial sectors again decreased, the employment rate among people from 15 through 64 rose 0.5 percentage point on-year last month to 66.1 percent, the highest since the compilation of related data began in 1982, it said.
The ministry, meanwhile, warned that employment figures should continue to move up down the road, but the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome may exert negative influence.