0525 GMT March 20, 2018
According to the data from the Bank of Korea (BoK), the number of small business owners without employees in the sector dropped by some 10,000 in the January-May period compared with the same period last year, Yonhap reported.
The total number of self-employed small business owners without employees in the country, meanwhile, increased by 419,000 on-year during the cited period, the data showed. Small business owners with employees also increased by 665,000 on-year in the January-May period.
Experts say snowballing household debt has been a major drag on private consumption, leading many self-employed businessmen in the industry to go out of business.
South Korea's household debt, including credit purchases, hit a record 1,359.7 trillion won ($1.2 trillion) at the end of March.