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South Korea unemployment inches down in September as fiscal spending boosts healthcare jobs

Reuters  |  SEOUL 

(Reuters) - South Korea's rate fell in September, recovering from an eight-year high in August, as increased fiscal spending in the sector boosted jobs even as manufacturers and retailers shed workers.

The rate fell to 4.0 percent in September from 4.2 percent in seasonally adjusted terms as the number of employed rose by 45,000 people from a year earlier, marking the biggest increase since June, a Statistics Korea report showed on Friday.

Analysts surveyed by expected would be in a range of 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent, with many forecasting a slow recovery in the job market due to ongoing restructuring in the sector as well as Moon Jae-in's controversial policies to sharply raise minimum wages.

The and social services sector saw jobs increasing by 133,000 in September from a year earlier, thanks to "the government's efforts to improve and add social workers in the sector," a said after the data was published.

The number of people with jobs increased by 137,000 in September from a year earlier, the report showed.

"We're seeing the data bottoming out, although we need to wait and see if the upturn (in job growth) will hold up," said Park Sang-hyun, an at in

"It won't be easy to see fast job growth from the sector as corporate investment isn't strong."

Friday's report showed manufacturers shed 42,000 jobs from a year earlier, while retailers cut another 100,000 jobs after similar declines in August.

The nation's in a separate report said the job market is "still in grave situation," as manufacturing, and tourism sectors are still shedding jobs.

Moon's support rating dropped to 49 percent in early September, a weekly Korea survey showed, the lowest since he took office in May 2017 as the worst unemployment figures since the global financial crisis sparked a strong public backlash.

The latest poll, however, showed a bounce in his popularity thanks to last month's third summit between Moon and North Korean leader which salvaged faltering nuclear talks between the North and the

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim, Shin-hyung Lee, Hayoung Choi. Editing by Eric Meijer)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 12 2018. 09:14 IST
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