The number of newly employed people in Korea increased by its slowest pace since January 2010 in February, only edging up by 104-thousand.
It's a sharp slowdown compared to preceding months.
The number of newly employed rose in the range of 200-thousand on-year for three straight months leading up to December last year, and increased by 314-thousand on-year in January.
Statistics Korea says the total number of people employed stood at over 26 million last month and the increases came from the construction, defense and public administration sectors.
It attributes the downturn to the country's sluggish manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors, and low economic activity due to last month's bitterly cold weather.
The statistics agency also cited the shutdown of GM Korea's Gunsan auto plant to have contributed to sluggish sales in the auto sector, but said it's uncertain whether this year's minimum wage increase has played a role.
The so-called "real youth unemployment rate", which is the rate perceived by young people, stood at around 23 percent.
Due to the worsening youth unemployment situation, the government is expected to unveil detailed measures to boost job creation on Thursday, and is likely to push for a supplementary budget bill and tax benefits later this year.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.