A total of 2.77 million people were employed in 2020 by the public sector, up 164,000, or 6.3 percent, from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
Jobs offered by the public sector are positions in central and provincial governments, social security funds and state-run firms.
It marked the largest on-year increase since 2016, when the statistics agency began compiling related data.
The number of public servants has been on the rise, and the government increased state-arranged jobs for senior citizens, youths and others to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and job market strains, according to the agency.
The number of employed people declined 218,000 on-year in 2020, the largest job loss in 22 years, as the pandemic pummeled the country’s job market.
Since taking office in May 2017, President Moon Jae-in has placed top priority on creating more jobs, promising to add 810,000 new jobs in the public sector during his single five-year term.
The data showed jobs provided by government agencies grew 155,000 on-year to 2.38 million in 2020, while state-run firms added 9,000 jobs to 391,000.
Jobs in the public sector accounted for 11.2 percent of the total job posts in 2020. This marked a 0.4 percentage point-rise from a year earlier.
Job posts for public servants accounted for 65.6 percent of the total 2.12 million jobs at government organizations, 1.9 times higher than those of non-civil servants.
By age, people in their 40s accounted for the biggest slice of 26.8 percent of the total public jobs. But job posts by those aged 60 and older grew the most with 46,000 on-year due to an increase in state-arranged short-term jobs for senior citizens.
By gender, men held 1.47 million jobs or 53.3 percent of the total public job positions in 2020, 1.14 times higher than those for women, the data showed. (Yonhap)