[THE INVESTOR] The country’s leading firms have increased their sales and employee salaries over recent years but hiring has stalled, an analysis showed on Oct. 10.
Corporate appraiser CEO Score studied 307 of the top 500 companies in terms of sales and found that their annual employee salaries rose 12.5 percent on average between 2014 and 2017, from 63 million won (US$55,668) to 70.9 million won.
Staff sizes, by comparison, increased 1.8 percent, from 1.19 million to 1.21 million.
The companies were selected on the availability of their business reports and records of sales, pay and employment during the designated years.
Analysis showed total sales gained 7.3 percent, from 2,074 trillion won to 2,225 trillion won.
Of the companies included in the analysis, 264 firms, or 86 percent, gave employees pay raises. The raise was more than 50 percent at 12 companies, including Dongwon Industries at 93.8 percent, SK Global Chemical with 73.2 percent and SK Energy at 71.8 percent. SK Lubricants and Shinsegae Food both had pay hikes of 70.6 percent. Another 35 companies recorded salary increases of more than 30 percent.
By industry, petrochemical companies averaged highest with 28.3 percent pay raises, followed by securities firms at 23.5 percent, credit financing companies with 20.2 percent and IT-electronics firms, which increased pay by 18.7 percent.
On the other hand, salaries at holding companies shrank an average 1.2 percent, and pay at shipbuilding, machinery and facilities companies fell 1.9 percent.
According to the analysis, 180 companies, 58.6 percent of the firms, expanded staff numbers, but 126 firms, or 41 percent, cut their workforce.
As for sales, 70 percent of the firms reported increases while the other 30 percent experienced declines.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com)