South Korea reported job growth for the third straight month in May, with data showing further signs the country is steadily recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of employed people reached 27.6 million last month, according to Statistics Korea, up 619,000 from a year earlier.
In April, the country added 652,000 jobs, the highest in nearly seven years.
The global spread of COVID-19 has dealt a severe blow to the country, with job losses recorded for 12 straight months before posting growth in March.
Statistics Korea said the improved jobs data came amid an economic recovery on the back of rising exports and consumption, a lower base effect and relaxed social distancing rules.
The number of unemployed people came to 1.15 million last month, down 130,000 from a year earlier.
The jobless rate fell 0.5 percentage point on-year to 4 percent last month, while the unemployment rate for young adults aged 15 to 29 also fell 0.9 percentage point on-year to 9.3 percent.
The employment rate for young adults came to 44.4 percent, the highest since 45.5 percent in May 2005.
Despite overall job growth, experts said it may take longer for the country to post a full-fledged recovery, given the sluggishness of the in-person service sector.
The Bank of Korea forecast the number of employed people to grow 140,000 this year, up from its February estimate of an increase of 80,000.