SEOUL, The ruling Democratic Party (DP) said Friday that the job market appeared to have avoided the worst after the government announced better than expected employment data last month.

South Korea’s jobless rate rose in September, but the number of new jobs improved after staying below 10,000 for two consecutive months, according to government data.

The number of employed people reached 27.05 million in September, up 45,000 from a year earlier. In August, the number of such people rose a meager 3,000 from the year before. Before the data was released, there were concerns that job creation might contract.

“There have been many concerns, but the job market appeared to avoid the worst situation,” Lee Hae-chan, the DP’s chief, told a meeting with senior party members.

“As the economic situation is not good, there should be close communication and consultation between the ruling party and the government to create jobs in a sustainable manner,” he added.

Hong Young-pyo, the DP’s floor leader, expressed a similar view.

“The job data was not satisfactory, but compared with July and August, job creation seemed to improve somewhat,” Hong said.

“The DP plans to draw up fundamental remedies to resolve the (structural) problem of the local job market,” he said.

To this end, he pledged efforts to spur the job creation capacity of sluggish industrial sectors and improve the quality of employment.

Meanwhile, Lee called for the government’s efforts to stabilize financial markets following a stock market dive the previous day. South Korea’s key stock index plummeted 4.44 percent to an 18-month low on Thursday amid a selling spree across the globe.

“(Global stock markets) appeared to be heavily affected by tensions between the United States and China. The government needs to try to tackle the stock market issue with a high level of alertness,” he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency