Unemployment situation in South Korea
South Korea’s (EWY) unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in June 2017 compared to a four-month low of 3.6% in the previous month. Newly elected President Moon Jae-in, through his labor-friendly policies, has raised the hopes of the workforce in South Korea (EEM).
In the graph below, you can see the unemployment situation in South Korea over the last year.
Unemployment in June 2017
The number of unemployed persons in South Korea (KOR) rose to 1.1 million in June 2017, an increase of 65,000, or 6.5%, on a year-over-year basis from the previous month. The number of employed rose 301,000, or 1.1%, on a year-over-year basis to 26.5 million people in June 2017.
The deterioration in the employment situation in June 2017 comes in contrast to the reforms undertaken by President Moon. South Korea (VWO) continues to grapple with high youth unemployment, which rose as of June 2017 to 10.6% from 9.6% in May 2017. However, the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 63.8% in June 2017, from 63.6% in May 2017.
President Moon’s reforms
President Moon through his reforms aims to bring about structural changes to reduce unemployment. His reforms are expected to curb the influence of South Korea’s powerful chaebols, which are family-owned businesses. Some of the big corporations in South Korea are Samsung and Hyundai. Moon’s efforts to change the labor laws are expected to reduce unemployment and hasten economic recovery in South Korea (EEM).
Next, let’s look at South Korea’s trade balance in June 2017.