South Korea unemployment creeps up to a 9-year high
Most of the jobless came from the manufacturing and construction sectors.
South Korea’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in January on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the highest in nine years with most of the jobless coming from manufacturing and construction sectors.
January’s figure was the highest since the 4.7% rate in January 2010, data from Statistics Korea showed. In December, unemployment rate was 3.8%.
A hike in minimum wages over the last two years have led to a fall in low-paying jobs in construction and retail. From January, a minimum wage gain of 10.9% was implemented, after a 16.0% increase was made for 2018.
For last month, the manufacturing sector saw a loss of 170,000 jobs on a year-on-year basis, followed by the retail sector which lost 67,000 jobs, and the construction sector at 19,000 jobs.
A softer economic growth expected for this year
Last month, the Bank of Korea left its policy rate unchanged at 1.75% as it downgraded the economic growth forecast for this year by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6%.
For the full year of 2018, the South Korean economy grew by 2.7%, matching the 2.7% growth the central bank had expected. Even so, last year’s annual growth was the slowest pace of expansion the country has seen in six years.
The jobless situation adds further pressure on the economy as it continues to cope with falling exports plagued by China’s slowdown.
For this year, South Korea’s central bank expects exports to expand by 3.1%, a step down from the record increase of 3.9% for last year.
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Ltd and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
Start trading forex today
Trade the largest and most volatile financial market in the world.
- Spreads start at just 0.6 points on EUR/USD
- Analyse market movements with our essential selection of charts
- Speculate from a range of platforms, including on mobile
Live prices on most popular markets