South Korea on clear path to job recovery: presidential office

Hwang Deok-soon during a press briefing in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2019. (Yonhap)

Hwang Deok-soon during a press briefing in Seoul on Sept. 15, 2019. (Yonhap)

Seoul: South Korea’s jobs growth is showing clear signs of improvement, and the government will roll out more measures to “proactively” help restructuring in troubled sectors so as to keep up the recovery streak, the presidential office said Sunday.

Hwang Deok-soon, presidential secretary for job creation, made the remark as he cited the country’s latest figures in the August jobless rate, which hit a six-year low, with job additions marking the largest in nearly three years.

“Signs of job recovery are clear. What the government especially takes note of is that such job improvement is evident in all age groups, not in just some specific categories,” he told a press briefing.

Based on the figures, South Korea is expected to log over 200,000 in newly employed on a monthly basis for this year, far surpassing the government’s earlier estimate, Hwang said.

“Initially, we were looking at 150,000 added to payrolls (per month), then we raised the forecast to 200,000 when we released the second-half growth projection. The January-August average now shows 249,000, which means (the annual monthly average) will far exceed that.”

In order to maintain the growth pace, Hwang said the government will “unwaveringly” push for measures to support industries exposed to risks, given that the economic outlook remains uncertain.

He highlighted the need for policies to assist corporate restructuring at the earliest phase possible so as to minimize potential job losses.

“As the economic environment changes, we are in an age where constant restructuring and structural change are inevitable,” he said. “Proactively carrying out restructuring where it’s necessary is the way to reduce pain.”

To that end, the government plans to soon introduce policies in detail aimed at helping companies or industries that fit into those categories, as well as other support measures, such as job sharing, he added.


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