Tue, Jul 24, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Scarcity of jobs pushes unemployment up: data

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The unemployment rate last month rose from the month before as expected, with more first-time jobseekers — mainly school-leavers — unable to find work, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The unemployment rate — a key indicator of economic performance — climbed for the second consecutive month to 4.21 percent last month, from 4.12 percent in May, the DGBAS said in its monthly report.

“The jobless rate last month showed a seasonal effect,” DGBAS Deputy Director Chen Min (陳憫) told a press conference.

Chen said the data reflected historical trends with the graduation season, and an influx of first-time jobseekers, often pushing up the unemployment rate from May to August.

The latest data showed that 477,000 people were unemployed last month, an increase of 11,000 from the previous month, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to get a job rising by 13,000.

However, Chen said the labor market outlook in near future remained stable, as the number of workers losing their jobs through business closures or downsizing fell 22,000 in the first half.

Cheng Cheng-mount (鄭貞茂), chief economist at Citigroup in Taipei, told the Taipei Times that he expects the labor market to remain steady in the second half.

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate — a more accurate indicator of the long-term trend — which dropped 0.01 percentage points from a month ago to 4.24 percent, confirmed Cheng’s views.

On the working front, the number of those with jobs averaged 10.82 million in the first six months, up 1.63 percent from a year earlier, marking the lowest rise in three years, which indicated the conservative attitude of employers generating new positions, DGBAS said.

Henry Ho (何啟聖), public relations director of 1111 Job Bank (1111, 人力銀行), said in a note that a slowing supply of job openings could continue to drive up the number of first-time jobseekers failing to receive an employment offer over the next few months.

The DGBAS also unveiled the latest salary data yesterday which showed that the average national monthly salary in May was NT$37,419, up 1.83 percent from a year ago.

The average monthly salary was NT$37,262 in the January-to-May period, up 1.88 percent from a year earlier, DGBAS statistics showed.

However, when bonuses and other forms of compensation are included, the average monthly remuneration package was NT$50,050, which was a 0.71 percent markdown from a year earlier, reflecting the fact that employers were awarding lower year-end bonuses and other vocational rewards this year with the global economic slowdown impacting their business, the DGBAS said.

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