SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's employment growth topped 300,000 for the fourth consecutive month to November on the government's efforts to create jobs especially for the elderly amid the rapidly aging population, statistical office data showed Wednesday.
The number of those employed was 27,515,000 in November, up 331,000 from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. The on-year increase was 452,000 in August, 348,000 in September and 419,000 in October each.
The continued hiring growth came as the government unveiled a series of projects to create the elderly jobs. South Korea is one of the fastest aging societies in the world, driving the government to offer part-time jobs for the older generation who did not fully prepare for their after-retirement life.
Employment among those aged above 60 expanded 408,000 in November from a year earlier, with those in their 50s and 20s increasing 65,000 and 70,000 respectively.
Jobs in their 30s and 40s declined 26,000 and 179,000 each last month, but the reduction was mainly attributable to the falling number of populations in those ages.
The hiring rate for those aged 15 or higher gained 0.3 percentage points over the year to 61.7 percent last month. It was the highest November figure in 23 years since 1996.
The employment rate for those in their 30s rose 0.8 percentage points to 76.6 percent in the cited period, but the reading for those in their 40s declined 1.1 percentage points, the fastest fall since December 2009.
The OECD-method hiring rate among those aged 15-64 increased 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier to 67.4 percent in November. The reading for those aged 15-29 went up 1.1 percentage points to 44.3 percent.
The employment rate gauges the percentage of working people to the working-age population, or those aged 15 or above. Amid the aging population, it is used as an alternative to show the labor market conditions more precisely.
The number of regular workers advanced 593,000 in November from a year earlier, while those for irregular workers and daily employees shrank 54,000 and 111,000 respectively.
Employment in the health and social welfare, the eatery and lodging, and the arts, sports and leisure sectors gained ground, but those in the wholesale and retail, the construction, and the public administration, defense and social security administration sectors declined last month.
Jobs among manufacturers contracted 26,000 in the month, keeping a downward trend for 20 straight months amid the lingering external uncertainties.
Export, which takes up about half of the export-driven economy, kept skidding for the 12th consecutive month to November.
The number of those unemployed diminished 43,000 from a year earlier to 866,000 in November. Jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.1 percent.
Unemployment rate for the younger generation aged 15-29 slumped 0.9 percentage points to 7.0 percent in the month, marking the lowest November figure since 2012.
The so-called expanded jobless rate, which reflects labor market conditions more accurately, slipped 0.2 percentage points to 10.5 percent last month.
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 grew 53,000 from a year earlier to 16,245,000 in November.
The so-called "take-a-rest" group, which replied that they took a rest during a job survey period, advanced 314,000 in the month. It is an important figure as the group can include those who are unemployed and too discouraged to search for work for an extended period of time.
Discouraged workers, who gave up efforts to seek a job because of the worsened labor market conditions, declined 48,000 over the year to 487,000 last month.