UPDATE : 2018.9.24 MON 18:27
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Jobless rate falls to 4.1 pct in April, job creation remains sluggish

South Korea's jobless rate fell slightly in April due to a rise in employment in the health care, financial service and public service sectors, but job creation still remained weak, government data showed Wednesday.

The unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.

The number of employed people reached 26.86 million in April, up 123,000 from a year earlier, according to the data.

The unemployment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- was 10.7 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from a year earlier.

The employment rate stood at 66.6 percent in April, unchanged from a year earlier, with the corresponding figure for young people at 42 percent, down 0.1 percentage point over the cited period.

The number of newly added jobs marks the third straight month that the figure has stayed slightly above the 100,000 mark. The comparable figures for February and March were 104,000 and 112,000, the data showed.

"The number of newly added jobs in the manufacturing sector declined, and there were some 420,000 job creations in April of last year, which affected this year's number," an official at the agency said.

In March, the government proposed a 3.9 trillion-won (US$3.69 billion) extra budget largely to create new jobs for young people, amid deepening concerns about high unemployment, which the government warned would have catastrophic consequences.

The government hopes that with the pledged support, the nation's youth unemployment could fall below 8 percent by 2021 and upwards of 220,000 jobs could be newly added through 2021.

Seoul's push comes as President Moon Jae-in has called for all-out efforts to create new quality jobs for young people and warned that the high jobless numbers among young adults is a national disaster.

The proposed extra budget is the second of its kind under the incumbent administration. Last year, the government got parliament to approve an 11 trillion-won supplementary budget that focused on creating more quality jobs.

Jobseekers wait in line at a job fair organized by a district office in Seoul on March 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim Sua  edt@koreapost.com

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