SEJONG, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Job creation by South Korean listed companies has plunged over the past four years as weak demand force them to scale back investment and hiring, data showed Tuesday.
According to the data by Statistics Korea and market research FnGuide, listed companies offered some six jobs for every 100 positions created in 2014, one-sixth of the tally for 2010.
Last year, 1,749 listed companies had slightly over 1.51 million people on their payrolls, up just 2 percent from the around 1.48 million in 2013. It was the lowest annual gain since the 1.4 percent increase tallied for 2008 when the country was rocked by the global financial crisis.
Fewer jobs being created by listed companies mean there are fewer “high quality” positions, a sign that many jobs on the market are less stable temporary positions.
In 2014, some 533,000 jobs were created, the highest in 12 years, but of the total, only 5.7 percent were offered by listed companies.
South Korea’s largest companies were particularly unwilling to hire new workers.
In 2014, the top 20 listed companies had 550,388 employees, up 1.5 percent from the previous year. But it was down significantly from the 5.5 percent increase in 2013.
Samsung Electronics had the most employees at 95,794, followed by Hyundai Motor and LG Electronics.
“There is a positive correlation between investment and job creation, and a drop in people being hired by companies is a sign that managers are feeling the pinch of sluggish demand,” said Kim Kwang-seok, a senior research fellow at Hyundai Research Institute.
He said the sharp rise in jobs last year is generally due to efforts made by the government to create public jobs.
The researcher claimed that such developments can lead to a drop in disposable income and consumption that can hold back economic growth.