The added values of the South Korean mining and manufacturing industries increased a lot last year while the number of persons working in the manufacturing industry decreased for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2009 during the same period. This has to do with adverse business conditions and industrial restructuring that led to employment deterioration in the shipbuilding and automotive industries.
Statistics Korea announced on Nov. 27 that the number of manufacturing workers totaled 2,956,000 last year, down 0.1% from a year earlier. Likewise, the number of mining and manufacturing workers edged down from 2,969,000 to 2,968,000.
The shipbuilding sector, which underwent large-scale restructuring, showed a decline of 13% and the rate of decrease was 0.7% and 0.4% in the automotive and electronics industries, respectively. Last year, business contraction in the industries including the three more than offset an unprecedented boom in the semiconductor industry to result in the decrease in the number of mining and manufacturing workers.
In the electronics industry, the shipments and added value of the semiconductor sector jumped 41.5% and 41.7% year on year whereas those of the electronic component manufacturing sector edged up 9.7% and 9%. Especially, those fell 9.4% and 17.5% in the communications and broadcasting equipment sector, where Chinese companies are boosting their presence at a rapid pace. The added value can be defined as the value of a final product from which its cost is subtracted. It falls when the production itself decreases or a raw material price increases.
Amid that year’s economic recession, the number of manufacturing businesses edged up from 68,790 to 69,458. The number fell 10.6% in the shipbuilding sector, 4.8% in electronics, and 1.3% in automotive. The numbers of metal processing firms and machinery and equipment suppliers, which are relatively smaller with fewer employees, increased 0.5% and 4%, respectively.