The number of people who've given up on finding a job in South Korea so-called discouraged workers surged to an all-time high last year.
According to an analysis of Statistics Korea data by Yonhap News Agency, there were some 62-thousand people in South Korea who wanted a job but did not look for one for more than four weeks because they thought they wouldn't be able to get one.
That was the highest figure since data was first compiled in 2014.
The number of people who were unemployed for more than six months last year also increased to 130-thousand, with around half being those in their 20s or 30s.
This suggests that while the country's unemployment rate dropped last year, the long term unemployment issue has gotten more serious.
"There were many discouraged workers last year because some people did not want to get infected with Coronavirus. Other people had difficulty getting things like child care or care for members of their families because of the Coronavirus, so they couldn't get a job for themselves. And then I think there were a lot of people, especially young people who decided not to search for jobs because they knew that because of the Coronavirus companies will not have a lot of jobs available."
Meanwhile, the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector in South Korea has been reduced.
The Federation of Korean Industries said Monday that the number working in the manufacturing field has been showing on-year decreases for 5 straight years, falling by 180-thousand in 2019 compared to 2015, close to a 4 percent drop.
The agency attributed the fall to restructuring that had taken place in the ship building and automobile industries.
This led to South Korea having a smaller share of global production.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization said the country's share decreased to 3 percent in 2019 from 3.2 percent in 2015.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.