GDP growth affects S. Korea’s employment most


South Korea’s economic growth rate has had the greatest impact on the country’s employment level among major macroeconomic variables over the past years, a report showed Wednesday. A 1 percentage-point gain in South Korea’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have boosted the number of employed people by 0.41 percentage point between 2000-18, according to the report by the National Assembly Budget Office. The number of wage workers climbed 0.34 percentage point over the cited period, while that of non-wage employees, including self-employed people, went up 0.61 percentage point. The estimate is based on an analysis of the impacts of changes in real GDP growth, working-age population and inflation-adjusted interest rates on the country’s employment level.


According to the report, the number of people employed in Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been little affected by macroeconomic variables other than real GDP growth. The report comes as South Korea’s economy is sputtering amid sluggish domestic demand and a trade spat between the United States and China. South Korea’s GDP unexpectedly contracted 0.3 percent in the first quarter of the year, the worst performance since the 2008 global financial crisis. The number of employed people reached 27.03 million in April, up 171,000 from a year earlier. In March, the figure rose by 250,000. South Korea’s jobless rate rose to 4.4 percent in April from the previous month’s 4.3 percent amid an economic slowdown.


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