Workforce Down by 27% at S. Korea’s ‘Big 3’ Shipbuilders

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 13, 2018

Image: Samsung Heavy Industries

Image: Samsung Heavy Industries

South Korea's Big Three shipbuilders  - Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) - have hit record low in workforce.

According to a report in Business Korea, the total number of employees in South Korea's Big Three shipbuilders has plunged a whopping 27 percent compared to 2011.

The “big three” shipbuilders had 36,757 employees on the payroll last year, down 27.04 percent from 50,377 in 2011.

The figure decreased to 35,623 in the first half of this year as 1,134 more workers left the companies, the report said quoting sources in Financial Supervisory Service, South Korea's integrated financial regulator.

Some industry sources also say that the three shipbuilders are having too many employees compared to their sales but skilled workers can leave the firms in the process of cutting down the workforce.

The domestic shipbuilding industry showed a sign of recovery as it recaptured the top spot in new ship orders for the first time in seven years, beating China. However, it is still struggling with a lack of work, said the report.

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