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S Korea unemployment inches up in January

South Korea's unemployment rate inched up from a year earlier in January, despite an on-year increase in the number of new jobs created.

SEOUL: South Korea's unemployment rate inched up from a year earlier in January, despite an on-year increase in the number of new jobs created, government data showed Wednesday.

The jobless rate stood at 3.5 per cent last month, up from 3.4 per cent a year earlier and 3.0 per cent in December, Statistics Korea said.

A total of 705,000 new jobs were created in January, up from 322,000 a year earlier and up from 560,000 the previous month.

South Korea's economy is showing signs of modest recovery from its protracted slump, expanding 3.9 per cent on-year in October-December, up from 3.3 per cent on-year in the third quarter.

The wholesale and retail sector was the largest job creator, adding 126,000 jobs in January compared with a year earlier.

The health and social welfare service sector and the lodging and dining sector also hired 122,000 and 119,000 more workers, while manufacturers added 90,000 jobs over the same period.

But labour market conditions for younger people toughened, with unemployment among those aged 15-29 rising to 8.7 per cent in January, up from 7.5 per cent a year earlier and up from December's 8.5 per cent.

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