The jobless rate rose last month from a month earlier as university leavers started entering the labor market, adding to the number of unemployed, the -Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The unemployment rate, a lagging economic indicator, climbed to 4.12 percent last month, from 4.1 percent in April, ending a two month fall, the DGBAS said in its monthly report.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, a more accurate indicator of the long-term trend, also rose 0.06 percentage points from February last year to 4.25 percent, the report said.
“The historical data indicates that following graduation season, the influx of first-time jobseekers usually pushes up the jobless rate from May to August,” DGBAS Deputy Director Chen Min (陳憫) told a press conference.
The latest data showed that 466,000 people were unemployed last month, an increase of 3,000 from the previous month, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to receive a job offer rising by 2,000.
The short-term seasonal upturn in the jobless rate could continue until August, Chen said, adding that the increase might last even longer, if employers chose to hire fewer people.
Henry Ho (何啟聖), a public relations director at 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), shared Chen’s view that unemployment would increase substantially from this month.
Data provided by DGBAS also shows that employment growth is slowing, raising downside risks for the labor market in the coming months.
The total number of people employed in the manufacturing and service sectors was 6.93 million people in April, up 1,000 from a month earlier, a relatively low increase compared with the same period over the past three years.
The DGBAS also unveiled its latest salary data yesterday, which showed that nationwide the average monthly salary was NT$37,410 (US$1,248) in April, up 1.95 percent from a year ago, because some service sector employers have increased employee’s pay.
The average monthly salary was NT$37,222 in the January to April period, up 1.89 percent from a year ago, DGBAS statistics showed.
When bonuses and other forms of compensation are added, in the average monthly remuneration was NT$52,110 over the same period, down 0.75 percent from a year earlier, reflecting the fact that employers awarded lower year-end and other bonuses this year because the global economic slowdown had impacted their business, DGBAS said.