Number of Koreans outside labor force down 0.6 pct in 2021

SEJONG-- The number of South Koreans outside the labor force edged down 0.6 percent from a year earlier amid signs of an economic recovery, data showed Thursday.

The number of non-economically active people, or those who have no willingness to work, came to 16.76 million as of end-August, down 106,000 from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

People outside the labor force accounted for 37.2 percent of all South Koreans aged 15 and older, down 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier.

"The slight drop comes as an increasing number of people are willing to work amid signs of a recovery in the job market," a Statistics Korea official said.

The labor force refers to those who are aged 15 and older and remain in the labor force by either being employed or actively looking for jobs.

Of the total non-economically active people, 3.99 million want to get jobs or set up shop within one year, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

The figure represents the largest number since data tracking began in 2016.

The data also showed 870,000 non-economically active people were preparing for employment, also the largest-ever tally.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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