360,000 Workers at Smaller Companies on Furlough

  • By Shin Eun-jin

    February 23, 2021 11:20

    More than 350,000 workers in small and mid-sized companies were furloughed last year due to slow business or halted production, 32 times more than in big businesses.

    The figure confirms that smaller businesses bore the brunt of the coronavirus lockdown.

    The Korea Small Business Institute on Monday said out of 750,000 workers furloughed last year in businesses employing fewer than 300 people, 48 percent or 360,000 were put on leave due to slow business or halted production, an almost eight-fold increase compared to the year before.

    But in companies with more than 300 staff, only 86,000 workers were furloughed, and the proportion who lost their job for the same reason was just 12.8 percent or 11,000.

    The institute attributed the difference to the large number of hotels, restaurants and other service-sector businesses, which are typically smaller, that had to shut in lockdown and sent their staff temporary leave.

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