South Korea's job growth picked up in January even as the country continued to struggle with another COVID-19 surge, data by Statistics Korea showed Wednesday.
The number of employed people topped 26.9 million last month, up by more than 1.1 million from a year earlier.
It marked the largest job growth since March 2000, when the number of employed increased 1.2 million on-year.
Since March 2021, the government has recorded 11th consecutive months of job additions.
The agency said the sharp job growth was attributable to the low base effect and the extended economic recovery supported by robust exports.
Meanwhile, the number of unemployed people declined 427,000 on-year to over 1.1. million last month, marking the sharpest fall since August 2000.
The jobless rate fell 1.6 percentage points on-year to 4.1 percent.
The Bank of Korea earlier forecast the number of employed people to increase 250,000 this year, but the finance ministry put the figure higher at 280,000.
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