In this file photo taken Nov. 11, 2020, a citizen looks at job information at an employment arrangement center in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea's public institutions plan to hire more than 26,000 new employees this year in a bid to prop up the job market hit hard by the new coronavirus outbreak, the finance minister said Monday.
The plan will represent an increase of around 1,000 people from the previous year, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said at an opening speech for a job fair on public institutions.
"Job creation in the public sector has become more important than ever to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the job market," Hong said.
The minister said the public sector will hire more than 45 percent of new employees in the first half in light of the sluggish job market.
South Korea's job market remained bleak due to the fallout of the pandemic, with the country reporting the largest job losses in almost 22 years in December last year.
For all of 2020, the country shed the largest number of jobs since 1998, when it was in the midst of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
The pandemic, in particular, dealt a crushing blow to jobs in the face-to-face service segments, including accommodation and food services, and for temporary workers and young adults.
To prop up the job market, the finance ministry said it will front-load 5.1 trillion won ($4.6 billion), or 38 percent, of this year's budget for job creation in the first quarter. (Yonhap)