0229 GMT August 21, 2019
The amount spent is 10.2 percent of the 289.5 trillion won earmarked for the central government and public institutions this year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Yonhap wrote.
The higher spending came as South Korea has vowed to frontload 61 percent of the national fiscal budget during the first half of this year to respond to downside risks in consumption and employment.
The government spent 2.5 trillion won on job creation in January, or 18.6 percent of the 13.4 trillion won set aside for it this year.
The South Korean economy added just 19,000 jobs in January from a year earlier, the fewest since August last year, when employers added just 3,000 positions.
South Korea's jobless rate rose to 4.5 percent in January — the highest level for any January since 2010, when the corresponding figure stood at five percent, according to Statistics Korea.