The unemployment rate rose to 4.24 percent last month as the number of jobseekers increased, ending three months of decline, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
That was an increase from January’s 4.16 percent.
On an annual basis, the unemployment rate dropped 0.01 percentage points last month, the DGBAS said in its monthly report.
However, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate — a more accurate indicator of the long-term trend — fell for the fourth consecutive month to 4.16 percent last month, from 4.2 percent in January, an indication that the labor market is on a steady track, the DGBAS said.
“Basically, the labor market did not show the deterioration that we were worried about before the Lunar New Year, while signifying steadiness,” DGBAS deputy director Chen Min (陳憫) told a press conference.
Chen said the month-on-month rise in the jobless rate last month was led mainly- by seasonal factors, as more workers choose to change jobs around the Lunar New Year holiday, further driving up the unemployment rate during the interim period.
That various part-time jobs ended after the Lunar New Year holiday was the other factor behind the increase in the jobless rate last month, Chen added.
The number of unemployed increased by 8,000 to 483,000 last month from a month earlier, with the number of people quitting their jobs due to dissatisfaction, and people losing positions as a result of business downsizing and factories closing up by 4,000 and 3,000 respectively, the report said.
Because various employers in Taiwan have been launching recruitment plans after the Lunar New Year, Chen said the trend may become clearer this month, following more jobseekers receiving new offers.
Henry Ho (何啟聖), a public relations director at 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), said the job market is in a “U-shaped rebound,” in line with recovering sentiment in the global economy.
The online manpower agency’s latest survey showed nearly 70 percent of polled employers will recruit new employees in the second quarter, up from 62 percent in the first quarter.
The results indicated that the nation’s jobless rate this month may remain flat or rise slightly from a month earlier, but it is predicted to further improve next month and in May, Ho said.
The DGBAS yesterday also released employee’s average wages for January, which increased 1.48 percent to NT$37,683 from a year ago.
On a monthly basis, the average wage edged up 0.49 percent.
However, average wages, including bonuses and compensation, dropped 27.58 percent to NT$60,702 in January from a year earlier, as more employers distributed annual bonuses in January last year, further raising the comparison basis, the DGBAS said.