SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea reported the largest job growth in almost seven years in April in the latest sign that the job market is recovering from a yearlong slump caused by the pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

The number of employed people reached 27.2 million last month, 652,000 more than a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the largest on-year increase since August 2014, when the number of employed people rose 670,000.

The April reading also marked the second straight month of the country reporting job additions. In March, the number of working people increased by 314,000 from a year earlier, the first job growth in 13 months.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the job market, with the country reporting job losses for the 12th straight month in February.

But the base effect and increased economic activity following relaxed social distancing rules helped create more jobs, according to the statistics agency.

The country’s jobless rate fell 0.2 percentage point on-year to 4 percent last month.