South Korea's jobless rate climbs to 3.4%

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate clicked upward to 3.4 percent in March, with more female job hunters struggling to find work, the National Statistical Office said Friday. 

During the month, the number of unemployed people slipped to 879,000 from 900,000 in February, as the agricultural, fisheries and construction sector renewed springtime hiring, the office said in a statement. 

But the seasonally adjusted jobless rate edged up from February's 3.3 percent, as female job hunters still had a hard time getting jobs, it added. 

Indicating a recovery in the job market, however, employment rose for the fifth consecutive month in March on a year-on-year basis, with the number of South Koreans with jobs rising 2.4 percent from a year earlier to 22.37 million. 

The service sector - both private and public _ was most active in hiring in March, followed by the manufacturing sector. 

The improvement suggested a pickup in domestic demand. - APLatest business news from AP-Wire 

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