Fri, Dec 23, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Jobless rate shows slight drop month-on-month

STILL SLOW:Conservative sentiment is now affecting even the Lunar New Year high-season employment market in a negative way, the statistics bureau said

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Although the unemployment rate last month dropped slightly to 4.28 percent from a month earlier, the job market has slowed amid the continuous weak sentiment in the manufacturing sector, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

Last month’s jobless rate, a lagging economic indicator, was 0.02 percentage points lower than the 4.3 percent recorded in October, the DGBAS said in a statement.

On an annual basis, the unemployment rate was 0.45 percentage points lower than the 4.73 percent posted in November last year, the statement said.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, an indicator of long-term trends, rose 0.02 percentage points from the previous month to 4.32 percent last month, marking the third consecutive month-on-month increase.

The number of unemployed fell slightly by 2,000 from a month earlier to 482,000, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to get a job down by 3,000.

“The recent few months’ data confirmed that growth momentum in the labor market slowed compared with that in the first half of this year,” Chen Min (陳憫), a deputy director at the statistics bureau, told a press conference.

DEMAND

The seasonal demand on the job market, which should traditionally lead to a straight month-on-month decrease in the unemployment rate from September to the end of the year, was not that strong this year because of the manufacturing sector’s conservative sentiment, Chen said.

That led the jobless rate to show a volatile trend from September to last month, making it even harder to evaluate the movement of the labor market in the future, Chen added.

Chen emphasized that “it is too early to say the job market is deteriorating,” since the amount of employment remained in a growing track, with the number of employed increasing by 23,000 from a month earlier to 10.79 million last month.

Henry Ho (何啟聖), a public relations director at 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), attributed last month’s falling jobless rate to strong demand from the service sector for the upcoming Lunar New Year high season next month.

However, most of these positions are atypical jobs, which might be terminated after the Lunar New Year, again driving the unemployment rate higher, Ho said.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Group (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s leading supplier of semiconductor assembly and test services, announced yesterday that it would recruit 5,000 employees next year.

For the Taiwan-based company to grow substantially, it would hire 1,500 engineers, 250 managers, 250 administrators and 3,000 workers for its production lines in 2012, ASE executive vice president Lin Hsien-tang (林顯堂) said.

Although many firms in the high-tech industry have furloughed workers to deal with sluggish orders caused by the ongoing European debt crisis and recession, ASE welcomes talent in the DRAM, LCD, LED and solar fields, he said.

The basic monthly salary for a degree holder would be between NT$28,000 and NT$30,000, with a postgraduate receiving a salary of between NT$38,000 and NT$40,000, he said.

In addition, he added that ASE increased its salaries by up to 4 percent this year and would adjust salaries again in February or March next year.

Under Taiwan’s labor regulations, companies that furlough workers to reduce their costs during slumps in demand must pay them the minimum wage, which is currently NT$17,880 a month.

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