Korea’s Business Landscape in 2022: A Tentative Overview

The Economic Survey Division of South Korea, led by Pyeon Ho-young, has released preliminary findings from the 2022 National Business Survey. These findings offer insights into the state of businesses and employment in the country as of the end of 2022.

Total Number of Businesses and Employees:

  • The total number of businesses at the end of 2022 reached 6,141,263, reflecting an increase of 61,561 (1.0%) compared to 2021 (6,079,702).
  • In terms of employment, the number of employees in all businesses by the end of 2022 amounted to 25,211,397, showing an increase of 279,797 (1.1%) compared to the previous year (24,931,600).

Businesses and Employees by Characteristic:

  • By industrial classification, there was a decrease in the number of businesses in the provincial, retail industry (-17,000, -1.1%), and the business facilities/support industry (-4,000, -3.1%). However, there was an increase in the transportation industry (27,000, 4.4%) and the association/other service industry (10,000, 2.1%).
  • Regarding employees by industry category, there was a decrease in the wholesale and retail industry (-78,000 people, -2.1%) and the construction industry (-54,000 people, -2.7%). Conversely, there were increases in the lodging and restaurant industry (110,000 people, 5.5%), health and social welfare (95,000 people, 4.0%), among others.
  • The organizational type of businesses also saw variations. Individual businesses increased by 51,000 (1.1%), while unincorporated organizations increased by 5,000 (1.1%). Corporate corporations saw an increase in employees by 170,000 (1.5%), and non-company corporations increased by 63,000 (1.5%).
  • Employee size played a role, with businesses in the 1 to 4 employee category increasing by 60,000 (1.2%). Moreover, businesses in the 5 to 99 employee category increased by 113,000 (1.0%), and those in the 100 to 299 employee category increased by 90,000 (3.7%).

For detailed information, please refer to the attached PDF file.

These preliminary findings offer a comprehensive glimpse into the dynamics of South Korea’s business landscape in 2022, with varying trends in different sectors and characteristics.