Overall, Korea has a higher rate of self- employment than many more developed countries. High self-employment can be interpreted as indicating strong entrepreneurship in business; at the same time, it raises concern as it can be interpreted as indicating many small businesses with very little pro t.
The number of self-employed individuals together with non-wage family workers reached
its peak in 2002 at about 8 million, but steadily declined. However, the self-employed are still concentrated in the wholesale, retail sales, lodging, and food industries, and transportation and other lower level service industries. These businesses overall have much higher rates of business closures and longer working hours, so that more government policies are needed to protect the businesses.