Taiwan has cut the number of foreign workers by 24,000 since November as a result of the global economic slowdown, a report said yesterday.
As of February, there were 349,000 registered foreign workers in Taiwan, largely from Southeast Asia, compared with 373,000 in November, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported, citing the Council of Labor Affairs.
The number of foreign workers was expected to drop further in the coming months, with 30,000 to be sent home this year, the council announced.
The move comes as Taiwan’s unemployment rate rose to a record 5.75 percent in February on business downsizing and closures amid a recession, the government said.
But the council expected the cut in foreign workers would slow down after the manufacturing sector showed signs of improvement with many high-tech firms receiving large orders from China.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, has announced it was canceling its unpaid leave policy starting on April 1 to meet the Chinese orders.
Taiwan, the sixth-biggest economy in Asia, has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with record falls in its key export sector, particularly among bellwether electronics firms.