The number of workers covered by employment insurance declined sharply in the shipbuilding industry last month from a year earlier, government data showed Sunday, as yards undertake massive restructuring in the face of sluggish business conditions.
South Korea’s top three shipyards suffered a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won ($7.5 billion) in 2015 due largely to increased costs stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and an industrywide slump.
South Korea, however, recaptured the No. 1 position in new orders worldwide in August with orders worth a combined 130,000 compensated gross tons to build nine vessels, according to the global research firm Clarkson Research Institute.
The number of employment insurance policy holders at shipyards fell 22.4 percent, or 41,800, in August from the same period last year, the statistics from the Ministry of Employment and Labor said.
The shipbuilding sector has suffered from more than 20 percent cuts every month since April in the number of workers having employment insurance policies.
The whole manufacturing industry, meanwhile, posted an on-year reduction of only 600 last month despite the sharp decline in the shipbuilding sector.
The electronics and telecommunications sectors witnessed an on-year increase of 1,000 people last month, marking a three consecutive month gain.
The figures for the machinery, food and chemical sectors also rose by 13,500, 7,900 and 5,500, respectively.
The textile and clothing sectors, meanwhile, shed 2,200 and 2,400 employment insurance policy holders, respectively.
The automobile industry added 2,900 policy holders.
In the services industry, the hygiene and welfare sector recorded the biggest gain with 65,000, followed by the science and technology sector at 41,000, the wholesale and retail sector at 40,000, and the lodging and restaurant businesses at 36,000.
The total number of the country’s employment insurance policy holders surged 2.4 percent, or 296,000, to 12.8 million in August from a year ago.