The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 5 percent in February, unchanged from January, with a fall in the jobless rate for women offsetting an increase for men, the government said Tuesday.

The jobless rate remained flat from the previous month after falling to a 30-month low of 4.9 percent in December, indicating the recent improvement in the economy has yet to spur a major recovery in labor market conditions.

The number of unemployed people fell by 190,000 from a year earlier to 3.3 million, down for the ninth straight month, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said in a preliminary report.

The unemployment rate for men rose 0.2 percentage point from January to 5.4 percent, while that for women fell 0.1 point to 4.5 percent.

The jobless rate for young people remained high, with that for men aged between 15 and 24 standing at 12 percent and that for women in the same age bracket at 8 percent.

The number of people forced out of their jobs fell 170,000 from a year earlier to 990,000.

The number of jobholders, meanwhile, rose by 160,000 to 62.09 million, up for a third straight month.

Of the total, the number of male jobholders fell 140,000 to 36.60 million, while that of female jobholders rose 300,000 to 25.48 million.

Female jobholders rose particularly in the field of medical and welfare services, which saw an 8.4 percent increase in the number of workers from the same month a year earlier, an official said.

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