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Gloomy employment prospects in first half

Posted January. 21, 2001 18:22,   


In a development that casts dark clouds over the nation's employment picture, about 67.2% of domestic enterprises said they have no plans to do any hiring in the first quarter.

According to a Ministry of Labor survey of 4,290 companies with five employees or more, only 819 firms or 19.1% of the total said they would do some hiring between January and March. A whopping 67.2% (2,883 companies) said they had no hiring plans while the remaining 13.7% (588 companies) hadn't yet made a decision. Some 12.1% (519 firms) said they were planning to make employment adjustments.

By size, companies with more than 500 employees and those with 300-499 employees were strongly leaning toward hiring, with 38.5% and 40.5%, respectively, saying they would do some recruiting. About 30.4% of companies with 100-299 employees and 24% of those with 30-99 employees plan to hire new employees.

By industry, manufacturing companies topped the list of those with employment plans at 36.8%, while financing companies brought up the rear with just 8.9%.

Meanwhile, 583 companies said they were experiencing manpower shortages, nearly four times the 147 firms that said they have surplus manpower.

Despite an overall manpower shortage, many enterprises are hesitant to work out employment plans based on the judgment that the economy will slow, a ministry official said.

Kim Joon-Seok kjs359@donga.com