SEOUL–South Korea’s unemployment rate in January rose to a seven-month high as tens of thousands of college graduates flooded the job market, government data showed Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate stood at 3.2 percent last month, unchanged from a year ago and higher than 3.0 percent in December, state-run Statistics Korea said. The January figure was the highest since June, when the figure stood at 3.2 percent.
The unadjusted jobless rate also rose to 3.4 percent in January compared with 2.9 percent for December.
The number of those employed in the agricultural sector fell 1.4 percent from a year ago to about 1 million, while those in construction slid 2.8 percent to 1.6 million.
The jobless rate among young people aged between 25 and 29 was 6.4 percent, compared with 6.2 percent the previous month. “The unemployment figure tends to go up in January as more people enter the job market ahead of college graduation (in February),” Statistics Korea said in a statement.