SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea added the largest number of job positions in four years last year due to an increase in employment in the health, social welfare service and public administration sectors amid rapid aging, data showed Tuesday.
The country’s total jobs reached 24.72 million last year, up 710,000, or 2.9 percent, from the previous year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
It marked the largest yearly gain since 2016 when the statistics agency started compiling related data.
The rise was mainly attributable to an increase in job posts in the healthcare and public administration segments. About half of the increased 710,000 jobs were filled by people in their 60s, the data showed.
By sector, the health and social welfare service sector added 130,000 on-year in 2020, and the public administration and defense sector saw an increase of 120,000 and the wholesale and retail segment added 110,000 job posts.
“Amid rapid aging, job positions for the health and social care service sectors increased,” an official at the statistics office said.
By age, jobs for those aged 60 and older rose by the largest number of 380,000. The government has increased temporary work positions for senior citizens.
Job posts for those in their 50s rose by 180,000. Those for people in their 40s also gained by 100,000 last year, a turnaround from a decline of 50,000 in 2019.
The data on job posts was compiled based on information about subscription into social insurances. Such data do not match the number of employed people as the number of jobs can be counted in plural if one takes two jobs.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic pummeled South Korea’s job market. The number of employed people fell by 220,000, the largest loss since 1998.