World Economy

South Korea’s Jobless Rate, Household Debt Surge

South Korea’s jobless rate has risen steadily in recent years.South Korea’s jobless rate has risen steadily in recent years.

South Korea’s unemployment rate has risen steadily in the past few years, while jobless numbers among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members as a whole have fallen, official data showed Sunday.

Data by Statistics Korea and the OECD showed that Asia’s fourth-largest economy has entered a recovery stage, albeit a weak one, but growth has not led to more positions being created. This is in contrast to most other OECD member states that reported improvements in the job market from 2013 through 2015, Yonhap reported.

In 2013, South Korea’s national jobless rate stood at 3.1%, with numbers rising to 3.5% in the following year and hitting 3.6% in 2015, and edging up to 3.7% last year.

Besides South Korea, only Austria and Turkey experienced rises in annual unemployment during this period. Austria numbers hit 6% last year from 5.4% in 2013, while Turkey’s stood at 10.9% in 2016 vis-a-vis 8.7% four years earlier.

During the same period the jobless rate for the OECD fell from 7.9% in 2013 to 7.4% in 2014, with numbers dipping to 6.8 in the following year and 6.3% in 2016.

Among leading countries, the unemployment rate for the United States stood at 4.9% last year from 7.4% in 2013, with Germany, Britain, France and Japan all showing improvement in their respective job markets.

The jobless rate for Japan stood at 3.1% in 2016, which is lower than South Korea in the same year.

An analysis of data, moreover, showed that South Korea’s jobless rate is not showing signs of improvement in 2017.

Meanwhile, South Korean households’ debt service burden reached an all-time high in the first quarter of the year with the pace of its growth ranking first worldwide, an international report said Sunday.

According to the report by the Bank for International Settlements, the debt service ratio of the local household sector came to 12.5% in the January-March period.

It was up 0.7 percentage point from a year earlier and marked the highest level since the first quarter of 1999, when BIS started to compile related data.

The on-year increase was the largest among the 17 countries surveyed, while the first-quarter figure placed fifth highest.

The report also showed South Korea’s household debt reaching 93% of its gross domestic product in the first quarter, the eighth highest in the world and the highest among 18 emerging economies.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints