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Manufacturing workers experience biggest reduction in 28 months

Manufacturing workers experience biggest reduction in 28 months

Posted May. 11, 2023 07:42,   

Updated May. 11, 2023 07:42


In April, the number of workers in the manufacturing industry showed the most significant drop in 28 months. The current account balance of the first quarter was negative, which is the first quarterly negative balance in 11 years. As the sluggish export of semiconductors continues for an extended period, the manufacturing industry, which used to be considered to produce high-quality jobs, is struggling, and the overall quality of employment is worsening.

According to the employment trends of April released by Statistics Korea on Wednesday, the number of employed people reached 28,432,000, which is 354,000 higher than a year ago. However, the number of employed people in the manufacturing industry, which offers high salaries and employment stability, decreased by 97,000, or 2.1 percent, showing the biggest drop since December 2020. “The fields of electronic components and computers, which include semiconductors, saw a drop in the number of employed people,” said Seo Woon-joo, the head of the Population and Social Statistics Bureau of Statistics Korea. “Such an impact on the number of workers may continue in the industries unless their export recovers.”

Experts believe that such a weakening of the manufacturing industry can lead to the long-term degradation of job quality. “The manufacturing industry, which creates higher value-added and offers higher job stability than other industries, has traditionally played a role in generating good-quality jobs,” said Professor Ha Jun-kyung of the School of Economics at Hanyang University. “The weakening of the industry can lead to lower quality jobs and the collapse of the middle class, accordingly.”

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