November 09, 2017 12:37
The number of self-employed people running their business alone without other staff has shot up by 110,000 in just two years due to massive layoffs at shipbuilders and other manufacturers.
Nearly half or 51,000 are small restaurants or guesthouses that are easy to open and run alone.
According to August data released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, some 5.7 million people are registered as self-employed, up 1.4 percent from two years ago.
One-person businesses account for 70 percent of them at 4.14 million, up 2.8 percent (110,000) over the same period, while those with employed staff dwindled 2.3 percent (36,000).
The number of one-person businesses peaked in 2012 with 4.27 million and had been declining, but last year's massive layoffs seem to have caused it to bounce back.
"It seems that salaried workers who were laid off during the restructuring program in the manufacturing sector ended up opening a store or starting a business to survive," Statistics Korea said.
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