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(LEAD) S. Korea’s on-year job additions rebound in Aug.

South Korea’s new job additions rebounded in August after slowing for four consecutive months, but the growth was led mostly by seniors, data showed Wednesday.The number of employed people came to 28.67 million in August, up 268,000 from a year earlie…

South Korea's new job additions rebounded in August after slowing for four consecutive months, but the growth was led mostly by seniors, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people came to 28.67 million in August, up 268,000 from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

In July, the country added 211,000 new jobs on-year, the lowest in 29 months. The monthly job additions slowed from April to July.

The country's jobless rate came to 2 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage point over the period. The number of unemployed people for August came to 573,000, down 41,000 on-year to hit a fresh low.

"The growth was led by higher demand for care-taking services, along with the increasing outdoor activities by people," an official from the agency said, noting that July's slowdown was primarily caused by heavy rainfall.

Seniors aged 60 and above led the overall gains, with positions for the age group rising 304,000 on-year. The number for those in their 50s and 30s also rose 73,000 and 64,000, respectively, over the period.

Excluding those aged 60 and above, however, the country lost 36,000 jobs on-year in August.

Positions for people in their 20s fell 91,000, reflecting the challenging job market for younger generations.

By sector, the number of new jobs in the welfare and social service segment moved up 138,000 on-year and those in the accommodation and restaurant sector advanced 121,000 as more people returned to pre-pandemic normalcy.

The science and technology sector also added 57,000 new jobs.

In contrast, new jobs in the wholesale and retail sector shed 69,000, with those in the manufacturing industry losing 69,000 as well.

The on-year job additions in the manufacturing industry have slowed for eight consecutive months.

Meanwhile, the employment-to-population ratio of South Koreans aged 15-64 edged up 0.7 percentage point to 69.6 percent.

South Korea's central bank, meanwhile, held its key interest rate steady at 3.5 percent last month for the fifth straight time as it weighs a slowdown in growth amid moderating inflation.

The rate freezes came after the Bank of Korea delivered seven consecutive rate hikes from April 2022 to January 2023. A hike in borrowing costs typically hampers employment as businesses and households cut their spending.

Source: Yonhap News Agency