SEOUL - South Korea reported its biggest annual job growth in over eight years in May, pulling the unemployment rate to a 19-month low and providing fresh evidence of a sustained economic recovery, data showed on Wednesday.
Still, the country's central bank is unlikely to rush to raise interest rates on persistent worries about the euro zone's fiscal crisis and its impact on a global recovery, analysts said.
"Given economic data, it's been fine for the Bank of Korea to raise interest rates since the fourth quarter of last year," said Kim Jae-eun, an economist at Hyundai Securities.
"But now it's difficult to find any other reasons except strong economic fundamentals to justify a rate hike. We are faced with too much uncertainty over the global economy and financial markets," Kim added.
The central bank is set to review the country's rate policy on Thursday and looks virtually certain to keep rates on hold.
Earlier, Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun said the country's economic recovery was strengthening overall but there still was a possibility of instability in international financial markets spreading.
Asia's fourth-largest economy added 586,000 jobs in May over a year earlier, the biggest rise since April 2002 when the country added 646,000 jobs over a year ago, Statistics Korea said.
The jobless rate in May fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.2 per cent, the lowest since October 2008, from 3.7 per cent in April, it said in a statement.