Samsung reports decline in workforce numbers

The number of employees at South Korean giant Samsung Electronics has fallen for the first time in five years, an Associated Press report said.

The company however emphasized the reductions were not part of any broader restructuring, the Associated Press report said.

Samsung Electronics is the world's biggest manufacturer of memory chips and flat screen TVs and makes a range of consumer electronics, including mobile phones.

The company had 1,630 fewer workers as of September 30 compared with the total six months earlier, spokeswoman Lee Eun-hee, quoted by the Associated Press report, said, citing figures reported last week to South Korea's financial regulator.

She said the work force reduction was voluntary and not part of a larger restructuring. 'It has nothing to do with downsizing,' she said.

The report said Samsung Electronics is the flagship unit of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate.

The Suwon, South Korea-based company had 85,269 employees at the end of the third quarter, compared with an all-time high of 86,899 as of March 31, Lee said.

Of the 2,379 employees who left the company during the period, 1,447 were classified as office workers, while the remaining 932 worked in manufacturing, the report said.

Lee could not provide a breakdown for which of its businesses were most affected by the departures. She said the company added 749 employees during the period.

A total of 15 executives also left the company, she said.