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S. Korea's jobless rate rises to 3.4 pct in January


14:04, February 13, 2013

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's jobless rate rose above 3 percent for the first time in five months due to a seasonal factor, but job growth accelerated on the back of strong job creation in the manufacturing sector, a government report showed Wednesday.

The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in January, topping the 3 percent mark for the first time since August last year, according to Statistics Korea. The reading was up from 2.9 percent in the prior month.

The rise was attributed to a seasonal factor. "The unemployed tends to increase in January as job-seeking activity strengthens ahead of a university graduation," the statistical agency said in a statement.

The number of people unemployed, who failed to land work despite job-hunting efforts, increased to 847,000 last month after posting 737,000 in the previous month.

The jobless rate gauges the percentage of people unemployed who actively sought jobs over the past four weeks to the economically active population, or the sum of people employed and those unemployed.

The jobless rate among those aged between 15 and 29 was 7.5 percent in January, unchanged from the previous month. The figure was down 0.5 percentage point from the same month of last year.

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