SEJONG, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) -- The number of companies doing business in South Korea edged up in 2021 from a year earlier amid the economic recovery, government data showed Thursday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy had 6.08 million businesses last year, up 0.7 percent, or 44,000, from 2020, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The wholesale and retail sector had the largest number of companies with 1.54 million, followed by 863,000 restaurants and hotels, and 617,000 transportation firms.
The number of wholesalers and retailers fell 2 percent on-year amid the impact of a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, while that of transportation businesses, including courier service providers, gained 4 percent.
Businesses in South Korea hired a combined 24.99 million workers last year, also up 0.7 percent, or 179,000, from the previous year.
The manufacturing industry had the highest number of workers at 4.23 million, accounting for 16.9 percent of the total. The wholesale and retail businesses had a combined workforce of 3.69 million, with 2.36 million people working in the health and social welfare sector.
In 2021, the South Korean economy expanded 4 percent on-year on brisk exports and recovering domestic demand, a sharp turnaround from the prior year's 0.9 percent contraction sparked by the pandemic.
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