SEOUL-- The top 30 business groups made big gains in operating profits up to third quarter of this year, but they have not hired a lot of new people, especially in permanent positions, corporate data showed Thursday.

CEO Score, a local corporate research firm, analyzed 261 affiliates of the top 30 conglomerates that submitted business reports for the third quarter. Results showed that the companies had 945,067 staff members as of the end of September, up 1.2 percent, or 11,452 people, from the same period last year.

The number of employees in permanent positions increased less, up just 0.7 percent to 879,979, while that for contracted workers jumped 8.3 percent to 65,088.

The operating profits of the firms jumped 65.4 percent to total 82.72 trillion won (US$74.65 billion) during the cited months.

By business group, LG hired the most, adding 4,793 workers over the one-year period. GS added 4,518 employees, Daelim 2,388, Samsung 2,074, Hyundai Motor 1,505 and POSCO 1,216.

At individual company level, Samsung Electronics hired the most at 4,462 people. GS Retail came next with 2,838, followed by Daelim's 2,359, LG Innotek's 2,312 and LG Chem's 1,612.

Shipbuilders fared the worst due to an industrywide slump, the top three shedding more than 6,000 workers. Hyundai Heavy Industries downsized its staff by 3,440 workers, while Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering lost 2,254 employees. Samsung Group's affiliate Samsung Heavy Industries shed 916 workers.

Data showed that chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, who together employed 5,583 new workers, accounted for more than half of the total hires during the period. SK hynix added 1,121 people to its staff.

Source: Yonhap News Agency