Non-regular workers at Korean SMEs account for more than 40 percent of total

2022. 12. 5. 14:51
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Over four out of 10 workers at Korean small and mid-sized enterprises are non-regular workers, while the disparity in the portion of temporary employees between large businesses and SMEs is at a record high, government data showed on Monday.

According to Statistics Korea, the number of workers not employed on regular, full-time hours at SMEs with fewer than 300 staff stood at 7,679,000 as of August, accounting for 41.1 percent of all those working in such companies.

The portion had hovered below 40 percent since the data was first compiled in 2003, but it surpassed the 40 percent level for the first time last year when it surged to 41.7 percent. The figure increased due to the pandemic last year when SMEs cut 127,000 regular jobs while adding 586,000 non-regular jobs. SMEs added 371,000 regular jobs this year amid the recovery from the pandemic, while creating 90,000 non-regular jobs.

In contrast, non-regular employees at large companies with more than 300 workers, accounted for 15.6 percent, or 478,000, of the total, down from 17.1 percent last year. The portion was 15.8 percent in 2019 and 15.7 percent in 2020.

The disparity in the portion of non-regular workers between large companies and SMEs rose to a record high of 25.5 percentage points since data was first compiled in 2003. The figure was 23.7 percentage points in 2019, 23.8 percentage points in 2020 and 24.6 percentage points in 2021.

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