S. Korea reports first on-year loss in corporate employees due to virus

SEOUL,  South Korea suffered its first year-over-year decrease in the number of corporate employees last month, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said Tuesday, apparently due to the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the ministry’s labor force report, domestic business entities employing more than one person had 18,278,000 employees as of the last working day of March, marking a reduction of 1.2 percent, or 225,000, from 18,503,000 recorded a year earlier.

It is the first time since the ministry began keeping relevant records in June 2009 that the number of corporate employees has shown a year-on-year decrease.

The ministry said the reduction may have been caused by the industry-wide fallout from the spread of COVID-19, noting non-regular workers, employees of small companies, and offline customer service workers were hit particularly hard.

Indeed, the number of regular workers decreased by merely 0.1 percent in March, whereas the number of non-regular workers and employees in special types of jobs shrank by 7 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, it said.

By corporate size, entities with more than 300 employees reported an increase of 1 percent in employee numbers, whereas entities with less than 300 employees suffered a reduction of 1.6 percent.

The accommodation and food services sectors suffered the biggest employee loss of 153,000 persons, followed by the education service sector with a loss of 107,000 and service sectors related to art, sports and leisure with a loss of 39,000, the ministry said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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