South Korea's leading business groups scaled back the number of employees on their payrolls in 2017 amid challenging market conditions and restructuring efforts undertaken by some industries, a report by a corporate information provider said Sunday.
According to the data compiled by Chaebol.com., 10 out of the 30 largest conglomerates in terms of assets, had fewer workers last year than in 2016, with four cutting their workforces by more than 1,000.
Of the groups that cut workers, Kumho Asiana, which had been forced to sell off Kumho Tire Co., witnessed its employee numbers plunge 18 percent to 20,343 people as of late 2017 compared with 24,803 a year earlier.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., which are undergoing restructuring to cope with the sluggishness in the global shipbuilding market, cut workers numbers by 8.3 percent and 17 percent, respectively, with Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's No. 1 carmaker, letting go of 1,124 workers for a 0.7 percent on-year reduction.
Hyundai Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding had 3,117 and 2,439 fewer workers at the end of last year vis-a-vis late 2016.
The latest Chaebol.com findings, which used official numbers on the data analysis, retrieval and transfer system maintained by the Financial Supervisory Service, also showed KT, Hanjin, OCI, Daelim, Mirae Asset and Doosan all reducing worker numbers last year as they adjusted to changing business conditions.
On the other hand, SK Group increased its workforce by 11.2 percent on-year to 93.116, with Shinsegae and CJ all hiring between 3,000-4,000 more employees than the previous year.
LG, GS, Lotte and Hyundai Department Store also all moved to hire more workers last year to better meet their own requirements.
As of late last year, the 30 largest conglomerates employed 1.32 million people, up 1.6 percent from 1.3 million in 2016, the conglomerate research firm said. (Yonhap)