Employment insurance subscribers increase fastest in 19 months

SEOUL-- The number of employment insurance subscribers posted the largest year-on-year increase in 19 months in June in a sign of recovery of the pandemic-hit job market, government data showed Monday.

According to the Ministry of Employment and Labor, there were 14.33 million subscribers to the state insurance plan last month, up 462,000 from June 2020.

The increase was the biggest since November 2019, when the number jumped by 477,000 on-year.

The ministry said the increase is attributable to strong exports and robust manufacturing sectors, along with a downturn in the increase rate in June last year amid the new coronavirus, which hit the nation in January 2020.

The number of new subscribers in the manufacturing industry has continued to grow since January to 3.59 million, an increase of 68,000 from a year earlier.

The electronics and communications industry saw 14,000 more subscriptions and the automobile sector 7,000.

The transport equipment industry, including shipbuilding, lost 9,000 subscribers.

The service industry added 365,000 new subscribers to about 9.86 million. The rise mostly came from health and social welfare, publishing and communications, and science technology industries.

Restaurant and lodging businesses lost 15,000 subscribers due to a plunge in the number of foreign visitors and business restrictions imposed to curb COVID-19, according to the ministry.

The number of subscribers grew in all age groups except those in their 30s, the age bracket suffering the sharpest population drop, the ministry said

Last month's payment of unemployment benefits was estimated to be 1.094 trillion won (US$953.5 million), exceeding 1 trillion won for the fifth consecutive month. The number of recipients was 693,000, with new claimants tallied at 91,000.

Source: Yonhap News Agency