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Big firms cut more than 10,000 jobs over 2 months amid virus

All News 09:04 April 29, 2020

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- Large companies in South Korea have trimmed more than 10,000 jobs over the past two months in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, a corporate tracker said Wednesday.

According to CEO Score, 492 out of the country's top 500 firms by sales had a combined 1,644,868 employees subscribing to the national pension scheme as of end-March, down about 10,844 from January.

The decline contrasts with an increase of more than 3,400 during the same period a year earlier.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has made a big dent in business activities in Asia's fourth-largest economy as social distancing measures have sent consumer spending tumbling.

Fifteen industrial sectors out of the total 22 suffered falls with the distribution industry taking the biggest hit with a decline of slightly over 4,000.

This undated file photo shows a deserted movie theater in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Service firms came next with 1,983 job cuts, trailed by state firms with 1,871, and food and beverage makers with 1,494.

By company, CGV, South Korea's largest multiplex chain, recorded the largest job reductions of 2,331 during the two-month period as the coronavirus forced theater shutdowns.

Food service company CJ Foodville placed second with 1,629, followed by Starbucks Korea with 859 and Lotte Shopping, the operator of South Korea's biggest department store and hypermarket chain, with 827.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, some companies have added to their payrolls to meet growing demand for services and products.

Coupang Inc., South Korea's top e-commerce company, has added the most jobs by hiring 913 more thanks to a bump in demand for delivery services.

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top memory chip and smartphone maker, came second with 420, followed by chip giant SK hynix Inc. with 310.

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