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Big firms expected to cut recruitment slightly in 2015

Leading South Korean companies are likely to hire fewer new employees in 2015 than last year as there is no clear sign of an economic recovery, a poll showed Tuesday.

The survey by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), which canvassed the country's top 500 companies by sales, found 180 of them plan to hire 22,844 new workers in 2015, down 2.3 percent from 23,385 last year. Of those polled, 305 responded.

Among the respondents, 125 said they have not yet come up with a hiring plan as their recruitment period last year was protracted from the adoption of various hiring processes, the KCCI said.

"The domestic economy is predicted to recover this year, but companies have a conservative recruitment plan as there are unstable factors, such as jitters over conditions in emerging markets and the Chinese economy. In addition, there is no clear sign of an economic recovery," the KCCI said.

By industry, new hirings by financial companies, builders and retailers are expected to increase slightly this year, while those by refiners and food and beverage makers are forecast to fall sharply.

New jobs at the top 100 companies by sales, which represent 2.5 percent of the total employment by the leading 500 firms, are forecast to drop this year due to new regulations, like the extension of the retirement age to 60 and the inclusion of regular bonuses in ordinary wages that increase salary costs, the KCCI said.

Ordinary wages are used as a basis for setting the amount of main allowances like overtime pay, holiday shift pay and paid annual leave.

However, the companies ranked 101st to 300th by sales are expected to increase their payrolls this year, the KCCI said. (Yonhap)