SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s major companies reduced their hiring of new employees in 2020 in an effort to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.
According to CEO Score, 497 out of the country’s top 500 firms by sales newly hired 264,901 workers last year, down 5,902 from the previous year.
The decline compares with an on-year increase of some 17,200 in 2019.
Out of the 22 business sectors, 12 recorded on-year decreases, with the construction and construction materials industry being hit the hardest.
In contrast, such contactless industries as information and technology, electronics, distribution and public service registered net increases.
Leading e-commerce operator Coupang chalked up the largest net increase of 10,872 last year. Global tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. raised its headcount by 3,552.
Stung by the coronavirus, Lotte Shopping posted the biggest net decrease of 3,248, followed by top multiplex chain operator CJ CGV with 2,459.
CEO Score predicted the current third wave of COVID-19 infections to have a far-reaching impact on corporate hiring in the first quarter of this year.