The automobile, shipbuilding, and electronics sector - the traditional backbone of Korean industrial power - shed 38,000 jobs last year amid lackluster global demand and increasing automation in the factory lines.
According to data released by Statistics Korea on Monday, the number of mining and manufacturing workplaces employing 10 or more last year added 0.2 percent to 69,405 from a year ago. Jobs increased by 0.6 percent to 2,976,000.
Despite the broader modest gains, automobile, shipbuilding and electronics industries dwindled. The number of workplaces in auto-making fell 4.6 percent, electronics 5.5 percent, and shipbuilding 5.2 percent.
Jobs were lost as result. The automobile sector lost 1.2 percent, shipbuilding 9.2 percent, and electronics 4.3 percent. Employees in the area were scaled down by 4 percent to 890,687.
Shipments from factories totaled 1,418.5 trillion won ($1.3 trillion), down 1.0 percent or 14 trillion won from a year earlier. Shipments by oil refiners shrank 11.2 percent due to low oil prices, electronics producers 3.3 percent, and shipbuilders 7.9 percent.
By Lee Yu-sup and Lee Ha-yeon
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