The Korea Herald


Coupang adds almost 30,000 new jobs in 2021

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : June 2, 2022 - 15:46

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Coupang’s headquarters in Jamsil, Seoul (Coupang) Coupang’s headquarters in Jamsil, Seoul (Coupang)

South Korea’s e-commerce giant Coupang topped the list of the largest employers here last year, adding almost 30,000 new jobs in the year alone, according to industry data released Thursday.

According to market tracker Korea CXO Institute, Coupang hired 29,361 new employees in 2021, with its total workforce standing at 72,763.

The figure made up almost half the total 63,740 new hires made by the nation’s 76 largest companies with assets over 5 trillion won ($3.9 billion) last year.

Most of the new staff are believed to be working at its fulfillment centers across the nation. The company has gone on a massive hiring spree recently amid increased demand for its signature same-day delivery service and online shopping overall.

Coupang currently operates about 100 fulfillment centers and other logistics facilities in some 30 cities nationwide. According to industry estimates, the fulfillment service division alone hired 26,644 workers as of last year, about 63 percent of total employees at the company.

Of the top employers last year, Hyundai Motor Group was ranked second by adding 8,027 workers to its payroll. The total number of employees was 174,962.

Jungheung Group came third, having 6,865 more on its payroll following its acquisition of Daewoo Engineering & Construction. The builder is the parent company of Herald Corp., publisher of The Korea Herald.

Also included in the list of the largest employers are Samsung, Shinsegae, LG, Kakao, SK, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Naver.

On the other hand, seven companies -- Doosan, Hyosung, Hanjin, Eland, KT, Kumho Asiana and Amorepacific -- each lost over 1,000 employees.

There were 28 companies that had more than 10,000 workers on their payrolls. Samsung Electronics, the nation’s largest company in terms of market value, was the only company that has hired more than 100,000 workers.

“Large companies have constantly carried out massive recruitment plans, but at the same time, existing employees have left the firms,” said Oh Il-sun, director of the research firm. “Rather than the traditional manufacturing sector, IT-based logistics, retail and service industries, and other emerging businesses will be at the forefront to expand hiring.”