SEJONG, Nov. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of nonwage workers, such as the self-employed, in South Korea inched down 0.4 percent in 2021 from a year earlier amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Thursday.
There were 6.61 million unsalaried workers as of August, down 292,000 from the same period in 2018, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The number accounts for 23.9 percent of the country’s employed people, down 0.6 percentage point over the cited period.
It contrasts with a 1.9 percent on-year increase in the number of all employed people tallied at 27.36 million won.
Of the total nonwage workers, one-man operations, which don’t hire workers, numbered 4.13 million this year, up 1.3 percent from a year earlier.
A total of 1.54 million people, down 4.5 percent on-year, hired workers to run their businesses, and 1.14 million were serving family-run operations without pay, down 2.2 percent.
Male unsalaried workers totaled 4.17 million, while the figure for women stood at 2.44 million.
Those in their 50s and 60s accounted for 63.7 percent of all nonwage workers, followed by 20.8 percent for people in their 40s.
The data showed that 21.9 percent of them were engaged in private or public service businesses, while the same percentage were in the agricultural sector, and 18.8 percent were running wholesale and retail shops.