Number of Employees at S. Korea’s ‘Big 3’ Shipbuilders Plunges by 27% from 2011

The number of employees at the nation’s big three shipbuilding companies came to 36,757 last year, down 27 percent from 50,377 in 2011.

The number of employees at the nation’s “big three” shipbuildersHyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) – has plunged a whopping 27 percent compared to 2011.

According to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service, the 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.
DSME had more than 10,000 employees until last year but the figure fell to 9,960 this year. More than 1,000 workers left the company every year since 2014 when it 13,602 employees.

The situation is not very different for Samsung Heavy Industries. The number of the company’s employees decreased from 14,000 in 2014 to 10,378 as of June this year. The company announced a management normalization plan in 2016 to reduce its workforce by 30 to 40 percent by the end of this year. So, the figure can go even lower.
The nation’s shipbuilding bellwether Hyundai Heavy Industries also laid off thousands of its employees. The number of the company’s employees dropped from 28,291 at the end of 2014 to 15,285 this year. This is largely due to large-scale voluntary retirement and a spin-off of its units last year.

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. The nation’s shipbuilders won orders equal to 10,260,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) by October this year, accounting for 45 percent of 23,050,000 CGTs of the total ship orders placed globally over the same period. However, the shipbuilding industry is making every effort to receive more orders for next year.

The shipbuilding industry’s difficulty is reflected in employee’s paycheck as well. For Hyundai Heavy Industries, the average salary per employee reached 78.30 million won (US$68,835) in 2011 but decreased 20 percent to 62.62 million won (US$55,051) now. The figure for Samsung Heavy Industries fell 10.53 percent to 68 million won (US$59,780) over the same period, while that of DSME dropped 16.67 percent to 60 million won (US$52,747).

The Original Posted By Jung Min-hee/Business Korea