Posted December. 29, 2008 04:35,
With Koreas private education booming, institutes preparing students for the college entrance exam earned combined sales of 4.97 trillion won (3.81 billion U.S. dollars) last year.
The Korea National Statistical Office yesterday said in a report on the service sector that sales of private academic institutes grew 20.3 percent last year. The number of institutes also rose from 32,400 in 2006 to 34,500 last year and that of employees from 133,000 to 140,000.
With the rising importance of foreign languages in landing jobs, sales at foreign language institutes rose 32.4 percent. An increase in the number of people preparing for law or medical school and civil service exams also raised sales at general training institutes 33.3 percent.
By contrast, the home schooling sector suffered a drop in sales.
The share of wholesale, lodging and restaurants in the service sector dropped from 65.2 percent in 2006 to 64.6 percent last year. This means lackluster domestic consumption took a toll on restaurants and inns. In the retail sector, 5,500 small grocery stores went out of business last year, while 2,100 convenience stores were opened over the same period.
The growing elderly population raised sales at welfare facilities for senior citizens 40.9 percent and hospitals 39.8 percent. Childcare facilities also saw sales rise 33.3 percent last year on the back of an increase in the number of double-income households.
Sales at nightclubs fell 20.8 percent while those of bars frequented by low-income people grew 12.8 percent.
Combined sales in the service sector last year rose 10.6 percent from 2006 to 916.1 trillion won (703 billion dollars). The number of businesses grew 1.7 percent to 2,239,000 and that of employees 4.7 percent to 7,921,000.