Seoul, May 18 (IANS) The number of unemployed South Koreans hit a record high in the first four months of this year mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, a report showed Monday.
Roughly 2.08 million people in the country remained unemployed during the January-April period, according to the report from Choo Kyung-ho of the main opposition United Future Party.
The figure was the largest since data tracking began in 2000, while the report was based on raw data from Statistics Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency.
In the four-month period, about 1.05 million South Koreans lost their jobs due to staff downsizing by their employers or company financial troubles, also the largest since 2000.
The number of jobless people and those who lost jobs voluntarily was well above those during the 2008 global financial crisis.
The jump in the number of unemployed people came as Asia''s fourth-largest economy has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak amid a prolonged economic slowdown.
Strict social distancing measures have sent private consumption into a free fall as people avoid going out and tighten their purse strings amid the coronavirus fallout.
To date, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 11,000 people in South Korea, with the death toll reaching 262.