December 04, 2018 09:50
Bankruptcies among the self-employed are on the rise despite government efforts to support small businesses.
Main opposition Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Choo Kyung-ho analyzed data compiled over the past three years and found that bankruptcies among self-employed people with staff surged 36.1 percent in the first nine months of this year to 8,373 people. In the same period last year, bankruptcies declined 15.5 percent.
Unemployment is also rising among salaried workers (up 16.8 percent), temporary workers (up 0.8 percent), day laborers at construction sites (up 4.3 percent) and self-employed people without workers on their payrolls (up 5.2 percent).
Another eye-catching statistic is a sharp increase in the number of people who run their own small business but have to work second jobs, often to pay their staff, which rose 13.5 percent to 15,565 people in the first 10 months of this year, compared to a 0.6 to 7.8 percent rise among other workers.
Self-employed business owners with staff working less than 36 hours a week increased 83.5 percent from 4,971 last year to 9,124 in 2018 due to the economic slump and the minimum wage hike.
"The government must scrap its policy of income-driven growth, which has exacerbated unemployment," Choo said.
A poll by Real Meter on Monday showed President Moon Jae-in's approval rating at 37.8 percent among self-employed people compared an overall approval rating of 48.4 percent, down from 60 percent in early October.
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