The number of nonwage workers in South Korea fell this year from two years earlier amid a protracted economic slump, government data showed on Nov. 7, 2018.
There were 6.86 million unsalaried workers, such as self-employed people, as of August, down 0.5 percent, or 36,000, from the same period in 2016, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The number accounts for 25.5 percent of the country's employed people, down 0.1 percentage point over the cited period.
Of the total, one-man operations, which don't hire workers, numbered 4.03 million this year, down 3 percent, while 1.65 million people hired workers to run their businesses, which marks a 4.5 percent rise, and 1.18 million were serving family-run operations without pay, up 1.4 percent.
Male unsalaried workers totaled 4.19 million, while figures for women stood at 2.66 million.
Those in their 50s and 60s accounted for over 60 percent of all nonwage workers, followed by 24.2 percent of people in their 40s.
Nearly 22.5 percent of them were engaged in private or public service businesses, while 20.9 percent were running wholesale and retail shops, and 20 percent were in the agricultural sector.
Many early retirees who were left jobless due to recent corporate restructuring and retiring baby boomers have chosen to set up mom-and-pop stores or small restaurants, as it is hard for older people to land jobs again. (Yonhap)