S. Korea to expand public sector employment by 8.6 pct next year

SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will expand public sector employment by 8.6 percent next year in a move aimed at providing high-quality jobs for young people, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

According to the ministry, 295 state-run agencies including public enterprises will hire a combined 16,701 new workers next year, larger than 15,372 tallied for this year. Of them, 30 public enterprises will recruit 4,449 new workers, up from 3,675 to be hired this year.

The state-run agencies and companies also seek to hire 1,933 high school graduates as part of efforts to rely less on academic backgrounds in screening job applicants. The figure accounts for 11.6 percent of the total employment.

These figures are preliminary data collected by the ministry from the public sector and are subject to change down the road.

The employment plans were unveiled in time for the opening of a public-sector job fair held in Seoul.

"We expect that more jobs in the public sector could help boost job creation in the private sector," Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said in an opening speech at the job fair.

He added that the government will endeavor to create 2.38 million new jobs over the next five years in order to provide work opportunities for not just younger people but also women and senior citizens.

The data come amid worries that the job market conditions for younger people could remain gloomy for a long period of time. The jobless rate for those aged 15-29 inched up to 7.7 percent in September from 7.6 percent in August.

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