Taiwan unemployment drops to lowest level in 33 months

25-Jun-2011 Intellasia | Taiwan Today | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Taiwan’s unemployment rate fell to 4.27 percent in May, the lowest level in 33 months and a reflection that more jobs are being created amid an islandwide economic recovery.

Around 476,000 individuals were unemployed last month, down 16.05 percent from a year ago, while those in the workforce totalled 10.67 million, an increase of 2.01 percent, according to the directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

Taiwan’s average jobless rate for the first five months of the year stood at 4.48 percent, or 1.05 percentage points lower year-on-year.

“Unemployment has returned to pre-Great Recession levels with most new jobs added in the manufacturing sector,” said Chen Min, head of the DGBAS Fourth Department.

Economists expect hiring to further ramp up this year as ROC government policies help create jobs and revitalise the economy. This growth is forecast in the high-tech, tourism and service industries.

Despite the strong showing, the DGBAS said Taiwan’s performance still lagged behind those of Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea at 3.5 percent, 1.9 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

Analysis of Taiwan’s labour force numbers shows those with tertiary and senior high school educations suffered the highest unemployment rates at 4.88 percent and 4.61 percent respectively.

Chen said improving jobless figures could suffer a reverse from July to August after the latest batch of graduates enters the market. Despite this temporary setback, the official tips a favourable outlook for this year’s first-time job seekers as the economy continues to pick up steam.

The DGBAS official said Taiwan’s rosy employment statistics also extend to salaries. “The average monthly wage in the industrial and service sectors was NT$52,505 (US$1,818) from January to April, an increase of 4.08 percent over the same period last year.

“After adjustment of 1.29 percent for inflation, the real wage growth was 2.75 percent,” Chen said.

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