By Seo Dong-cheol
The number of factory jobs in South Korea dropped to the lowest in seven years last December, hit by a continued fall in export growth and corporate restructuring drive in shipbuilders and other large manufacturers, government data showed Tuesday.
The number of the country`s casual workers employed by manufactures came to 3,581,000 at the end of last month, down by 400 from the tally at the end of 2011.
The payroll decline in the manufacturing sector marks the first time since October 2009 when the number fell by 8,000 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Among the manufacturing sector, the most outstanding decline came from the group of shipbuilding, railroad and aircraft maintenance companies, with 31,000 jobs down. Electronic components, computers and telecommunication equipment companies, the country’s largest employer group with 516,000 jobs saw 126,000 jobs disappear in December, - a decline of 36 months in a row after Jan. 2014.
The number of people working for small and medium enterprises - those with less than 300 employees - gained 5,700 jobs at the end of last year, but the corresponding figure at large companies shrank by 6,100.