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SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- The number of self-employed people in South Korea edged down in February from a year earlier amid a prolonged economic slump, a government-affiliated agency said Tuesday.

According to the Small Enterprise Development Agency, self-employed people totaled 5.47 million as of the end of last month, down 0.28 percent from a year earlier.

Still, it represents a 0.45 percent rise from 5.45 million self-employed people in January, the agency said, citing data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The number of self-employed people in the lodging and restaurant businesses dropped 3.9 percent on-year to 566,000. It marked the biggest decline among the seven areas surveyed by the statistics office.

The manufacturing industry saw a 3.6 percent drop in the number of self-employed people in February from a year earlier, while the number of self-employed in the service sector increased 4 percent, according to the agency.

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