SEJONG -- Shipyard cities and surrounding areas suffered steep job losses over a one-year period from ongoing restructuring efforts, state data indicated Tuesday.
Employment and job sector figures from Statistics Korea showed the number of workers in Geoje, a city in the southeastern South Gyeongsang Province that is home to major shipbuilding facilities, dropped 12,900 to 123,400 as of October 2017 from a year before. The number of workers in mining and manufacturing sectors was down 6,900 to 58,000.
Areas nearby that had relied on the shipyards for local business also suffered, according to the data. In Tongyeong, the number of people employed fell 4,400 to 61,800 over the period, 1,900 of them in mining and manufacturing.
In the case of southwestern North Jeolla Province city of Gunsan, where Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. closed its shipyard in July 2017, the number of workers was trimmed by 6,400, 3,700 of them in mining and manufacturing. The city is bracing for even harder times after US-based automaker General Motors shuts down its plant in May.
Job losses were also stark in Jeju, an island at South Korea's southern tip popular especially with Chinese tourists. A diplomatic row over South Korea's deployment of a US anti-missile system on its soil led to retaliations by China. Beijing had discouraged its travel agencies from offering group tours to the neighboring country. Data showed that Jeju had 2,600 fewer workers in the retail, wholesale and accommodations industries vis-a-vis the year before. (Yonhap)