SEOUL, July 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment growth hit the 17-month high last month on the government's efforts to increase the elderly jobs amid the rapid population aging, statistical office data showed Wednesday.
The number of those employed totaled 27,408,000 in June, up 281,000 from the same month of last year, according to Statistics Korea.
It was the fastest increase in 17 months since January 2018, staying above 200,000 for the second straight month.
The rapid growth in jobs was attributable to the government's job-creating projects especially for the elderly people to tackle the fast-aging population.
Jobs among those in their 60s or higher expanded 372,000 in June from a year earlier, with the figures in their 20s and 50s rising 14,000 and 127,000 respectively.
Those in their 30s and 40s reduced 32,000 and 182,000 each last month, but it stemmed mainly from the diminishing number of populations of the ages.
The statistical office said the slump in the wholesale and retail sector and the manufacturing industry continued to have a negative impact on the employment for those in their 40s.
The employment rate for those in their 40s declined 0.7 percentage points in the month, but the reading for those in their 30s gained 0.5 percentage points.
The number of jobs created by manufacturers contracted 66,000 in June from a year earlier, with the reading in the finance and insurance sector skidding 51,000.
The year-over-year increase of jobs in the healthcare and social welfare industry was 125,000 in June, with those in the education services sector and the lodging and eatery industry reaching 74,000 and 66,000 each.
The employment by manufacturers was hit by the continued fall in export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy. The outbound shipment kept sliding for seven straight months through June amid the downturn in business cycle of the global semiconductor industry.
The hiring rate among those aged 15 or higher rose 0.2 percentage points over the year to 61.6 percent last month.
The OECD-method employment rate among those aged 15-64 added 0.2 percentage points to 67.2 percent in June, marking an identical figure with the previous record high tallied in July 2017.
The youth employment rate for those aged 15-29 gained 0.3 percentage points to 43.2 percent in the month.
The employment rate, often used as an alternative to jobless rate, gauges the percentage of working people to the working-age population, or those aged 15 or above.
The number of those unemployed was 1,137,000 in June, up 103,000 from a year ago. Unemployment rate added 0.3 percentage points to 4.0 percent in the month.
The higher unemployment rate came from the growing number of people seeking a job especially among those in their 20s and 60s. The government's job-creating efforts encouraged more to rush to the labor market.
The so-called expanded jobless rate, which reflects labor market conditions more accurately, gained 0.5 percentage points over the year to 11.9 percent in June.
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 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 number of economically inactive population fell 5,000 to 15,951,000 in the cited period amid the rush to get a job.
The so-called "take-a-rest" group went up 247,000 to 2,007,000 in the month. The group refers to those who replied that they took a rest during a job survey period. It is significant as the group can include those who are unemployed and too discouraged to search for work for an extended period of time.
The number of discouraged workers, who gave up efforts to seek a job on the worsening of labor market conditions, rose 3,000 over the year to 514,000 in June.