South Korea’s jobless rate falls to 3.5 percent in March: gov’t data



SEOUL–South Korea’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in March thanks to new jobs created in agriculture and social services, state data showed Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted figure compares to 3.9 percent posted a month earlier, Statistics Korea said.

The total number of people in work stood at 25.2 million compared to 24.8 million in February. The farming and fisheries sectors added 204,000 jobs, while some 90,000 jobs were created in healthcare and social services.

The youth jobless rate, for those aged between 25 and 29, stood higher at 8.8 percent — but lower than the 9.8 percent posted a month earlier.

South Korea’s economy — Asia’s fourth-largest — is showing signs of modest recovery from its protracted slump, expanding three percent in 2013 compared to 2.3 percent in 2012.

Seoul’s central bank forecasts 3.8 percent growth in 2014, boosted by state stimulus spending and rising demand from overseas markets.