SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's job growth hit a 9-year low last year, with the unemployment rate rising to the highest in 17 years, a government report showed Wednesday. The number of those employed stood at 26,822,000 in 2018, up 97,000 from the previous year, according to Statistics Korea. The figure expanded 316,000 in 2017. It was the lowest in nine years since 2009 when the employment reduced 87,000 on negative effect from the global financial crisis. Jobless rate rose 0.1 percentage point over the year to 3.8 percent in 2018, marking the highest since 2001. The number of those unemployed was 1,073,000 in 2018, topping 1 million for the third consecutive year.