Big Business Laid off Thousands in Pandemic

      November 24, 2021 12:46

      Hiring at big companies has deteriorated both quantitatively and qualitatively since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

      Market researcher Leaders Index surveyed Korea's top 313 companies in the third quarter and found that the total number of workers dwindled by one percent from 1.25 million in 2019 to 1.24 million this year.

      The quality of jobs also worsened. While the number of permanent workers declined by 18,199 over the same period, the number of temporary workers increased by 5,369. Men accounted for 33 percent of the jobs that disappeared and women for 67 percent.

      Since men account for 74 percent of all workers at the top 500 companies in Korea and women for 26 percent, job losses among women are disproportionately high.

      The biggest job losses were in retail and entertainment. Lotte Shopping shed 5,097 workers since 2019 after closing down money-losing supermarkets across the country. Movie-theater chain CJ CGV also laid off 3,722 workers.

      But more people were employed by biopharmaceutical companies (up 4.1 percent), brokerages (up 3.5 percent), IT companies (up 3.4 percent) and state-run businesses (up three percent). Samsung Electronics hired 8,606 more workers, while Hyundai hired 2,018 more, and SK Hynix 1,550 more.

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