SMEs in South Korea more likely to hire temporary employees

Compared to large organisations, about four in 10 employees working for organisations with less than 300 staff are non-regular workers.
By: | December 8, 2022

Over 40% of employees (7.7 million) working for SMEs in South Korea with less than 300 staff are non-regular workers, data by Statistics Korea has revealed.

The portion of temporary workers employed by SMEs had hovered below 40% since the data was first compiled in 2003 but surpassed 40% for the first time last year when it surged to 41.7%, reported Pulse news.

The increase was attributed to the pandemic, when smaller firms cut 127,000 regular jobs while adding 586,000 non-regular jobs. Riding on the recovery from the pandemic, SMEs added 371,000 regular jobs this year, and created 90,000 non-regular jobs.

Non-regular employees at organisations hiring more than 300 employees, on the other hand, accounted for only 15.6% (478,000) of the workforce. In 2019, large companies employed 15.8% of temporary workers, and this fell slightly to 15.7% in 2020.

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This, reported Statistics Korea, is creating the largest disparity (25.5%) in the portion of non-regular employees between large organisations and SMEs since data was first complied in 2003.