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Jobless Economic Growth Worsening: Study

Posted July. 28, 2010 13:31,   


The trend of jobless economic growth is worsening with employment lagging far behind increases in revenue over the past five years, according to a Dong-A Ilbo survey of the country’s 1,000 largest companies.

The study analyzed employment at 750 among the top 1,000 domestic companies in sales from 2005 through last year. The number of employees, including temporary workers, was found to have risen 6.4 percent or 85,163 from 1,323,511 in 2005 to 1,408,674 last year.

The combined sales of the companies rose 57.1 percent from 1,003 trillion won (849 billion U.S. dollars) to 1,576 trillion won (1.3 trillion dollars) over the same period.

In contrast, the sales increase of the top 1,000 companies from 2002 to 2006 was 27.7 percent and that of employment 9.3 percent, with 107,723 new jobs added over the same period. Sales doubled over the five-year period but employment rose much slower.

Park Jong-nam, managing director of the Korean Chamber and Commerce and Industry, said, “The trend of economic growth without employment in the Korean economy is getting more pronounced.”

Among the surveyed companies, 191 shed workers though sales and net profit rose. A combined 49,835 jobs were eliminated in those companies.

The top 30 companies in sales last year added just 19,294 jobs over the past five years.

Job growth was also uneven. The 30 top businesses in job creation added 88,024 jobs, larger than the overall number of newly created jobs of 85,163, meaning job creation at the remaining 720 companies was sluggish.

A separate survey, however, found that small and mid-size companies with 300 employees or fewer led job creation over the same period. According to the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Businesses, the number of employees in small and mid-size companies rose 1,020,000 from 10,440,000 in 2005 to 11,460,000 in 2008.

By contrast, that of large corporations rose 150,000 from 1,450,000 to 1,600,000 over the same period.