S.Korea’s state benefit for unemployed, job-seekers hits record high

South Korea’s state benefit for the unemployed and job-seekers hit a record high in May on an increased benefit and the higher number of beneficiaries, a government report showed Tuesday.

The state allowances paid to those who were unemployed or were seeking a job amounted to a new monthly high of 758.7 billion won (642 million U.S. dollars) in May, up 24.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

The record-breaking trend continued for three straight months as the government raised the number of beneficiaries and increased the benefit amount in a bid to expand the social safety net.

The number of beneficiaries was 503,000 in May, up 12.1 percent from a year earlier. The new beneficiaries rose 7.8 percent to 84,000 in the period.

The average per-capita benefit amounted to 1,508,000 won (1,280 U.S. dollars) in May, up 11.3 percent from a year earlier.