South Korea’s unemployment rate rises as tighter virus restrictions hit jobs

Four Fed rate hikes are priced in, and Jamie Dimon wants more

The strength of the country’s labor market in the face of a worsening virus situation will number among the factors the bank considers, with economists split on whether it will hike rates again at the meeting.

South Koreas jobless rate moved in December as the government brought back virus controls to cover the spread of omicron, compelling certain individuals out of work. The joblessness rate increased to 3.8% in December from 3.1% the earlier month, above economists gauge for a perusing of 3.2%. The figures come only days before the Bank of Korea meets to settle on policy, having raised interest costs two times since the summer. Governor Lee Ju-yeol has said that omicron is the greatest threat to the economy’s recuperation.

The Korean government tightened virus restrictions twice in December just after easing them the previous month, as Covid infections surged to record levels amid the spread of the variant.

Still, a majority of economists expect the BOK to raise rates sooner or later this quarter as it seeks to limit the risk of financial imbalances and stem inflationary pressure.

With the BOK moving away from its pandemic stimulus settings, the renewed curbs and concern over the latest infection wave have prompted calls for an extra budget to keep the recovery on track by helping businesses and households.

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