Almost half of South Korean listed firms cut workforce in H1’21

The proportion of listed companies that performed job cuts was down 51.4% from a year earlier, riding on expectations for an economic recovery.
By: | September 15, 2021

Almost half of listed companies in South Korea cut their workforce in 1H 2021 amid the pandemic, according to data from the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI). 

From January to June this year,  47.3% or 859 of 1,816 corporations listed on the country’s major and minor bourses cut their number of workers. 

Of the 688 businesses traded on KOSPI, 48.4% or 333 of them cut jobs during the same period, while 46.6% of 1,128 firms traded on the tech-heavy KOSDAQ market cut back on payrolls, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The proportion of listed companies that performed job cuts was down 51.4% from a year earlier, riding on expectations for an economic recovery. However, this proportion was still 43% higher than that recorded in 2019, just before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. 

READ: South Korea aims to create over 80,000 green jobs by 2025

The combined workforce of the listed firms has also been on the decline over the past three years, said the think tank. As of end-June 2021, the total headcount for these companies recorded 1.441 million, down from 1.454 million last year, and 1.496 million in 2019.