The number of manufacturing jobs in South Korea declined for the third consecutive month in February amid ongoing massive restructuring in the country’s shipbuilding sector and a prolonged economic slowdown, government data showed on Monday.
According to data released by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the number of employed in the nation’s manufacturing sector stood at 3,578,000 in February, down 1,700 from the same period last year.
The manufacturing workforce shrank for the third straight month, shedding 300 jobs in December last year when the figure marked the first on-year decline since October 2009. The number fell by 1,000 in January this year and the pace of decline has accelerated last month.
In particular, the number of people hired by ship, railroad, and aircraft building equipment manufacturers decreased 37,000 on year in February, delivering a heavy blow to overall manufacturing payroll.
“The manufacturing workforce has been hit by the protracted economic slump and the industry’s restructuring wave,” said an official from the labor ministry. The country’s troubling shipbuilding industry has been shedding jobs and streamlining its organization since last year amid a slump in demand.
Companies producing electronic components, computers and communication equipment also saw 106,000 jobs disappear last month - a decline of 38 months in a row since January 2014.
But the number of employed in the food and chemical product manufacturing sectors remained in the upward trend last month. Food producers showed the biggest gain of 113,000 jobs thanks to the expanding food production and exports.
The number of workers in the manufacturing and service industries also increased 2.4 percent or 313,000, to 12,640,000 in February from the same month last year, according to data.
By Seo Dong-cheol
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]