South Korea reports highest job growth in over 7 years for 2021

The South Korean economy has reportedly recorded the highest job growth in more than 7 years for 2021 as the nation’s employment market recovered to go back to the pre-pandemic levels owing to the base effect as well as the economic recovery.

As per data compiled by the nation’s Ministry of Economy and Finance unit, Statistics Korea, the number of employed people in the country touched 27.27 million in 2021, which is 369,000 higher than the year prior.

The unit recorded the highest figure since 2014, when the country recorded an on-year rise of 598,000 jobs. Sources claim, last year's figure was greater than the government's previous forecast of there being a 350,000 increase.

The figure for 2021 comes after the nation recorded a job loss of 218,000 in 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak wreaked havoc on the nation's labor economy. It was the biggest drop in employment since 1998.

According to Kong Mi-sook, a senior Statistics Korea official, the employment market regained its momentum last year due to strong exports, base effect, as well as changes in industrial structures, including demand for digitization and contactless services.

According to the figures, the total number of workers reached 27.29 million in December last year, 773,000 more compared to the previous year. It was the highest employment gain in over eight years, and also the 10th month of employment growth in a row.

Even as the government continues to struggle with an increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the new omicron variant, the job recovery has still been extended.

It is safe to say that Asia's fourth-largest economy is on track to its recovery, driven mainly by strong exports. The revival of COVID-19 cases, however, is raising doubts over private spending recovery.

As the nation tightened social distancing restrictions this month, the finance ministry has stated that it will closely monitor any uncertainties in the job market.

Since mid-December, health officials have tightened antivirus precautions after the daily infections surged to about 8,000 as a result of the ‘living with COVID-19’ plan's relaxed virus controls.

The new antivirus restrictions have put a four-person limit on private gatherings across the country, as well as a 9 pm curfew on restaurants and cafes, and would be in effect till Sunday.

Source credit: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220112000088