Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - Page 13 News List

September jobless rate fell to 4.24%

INCOME:The average monthly wage rose 0.82% in the first eight months, but slid 0.08% if bonuses and compensation were counted in, data showed

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The unemployment rate declined to 4.24 percent last month, ending three consecutive months of sequential increases, an indication that the negative seasonal effect led by the large number of first-time jobseekers was fading, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The jobless rate — a lagging indicator of economic performance — dropped 0.09 percentage points last month from the 4.33 percent recorded in August, the agency said in its monthly report.

DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) said the decline in the unemployment rate last month meant the short-term seasonal impact on the labor market has been easing, as a majority of college graduates enter the labor market every summer, raising the jobless rate between May and August.

“Compared with data recorded in September last year, the increase in the number of employed last month was stronger than that for the labor force number ... so the current employment market is fairly stable,” Lo told a press conference.

The number of employed totaled 10.98 million last month, up 0.94 percent — or 102,000 people — from the same period last year, while the labor force number increased by 0.85 percent — or 32,000 people — to 11.47 million last month from a year earlier, the report’s data showed.

1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) public relations director Daniel Lee (李大華) said he expected the unemployment rate to further drop year-on-year next month and in December, as more employers are willing to hire new employees this quarter compared with a year earlier.

The online employment agency’s latest survey showed about 63 percent of employers in its database have a hiring plan this quarter, compared with the 43 percent recorded in the same period last year.

The DGBAS also published the average monthly wages of workers in the industrial and service sectors, which climbed to a new high of NT$37,652 after rising by 0.82 percent annually in the first eight months of the year.

However, the overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, dropped 0.08 percent to NT$47,208 in the first eight months compared with a year earlier, as employers handed out fewer bonuses because of the weak economic sentiment last year, the agency said.

The government has been adopting a new labor pension system — meaning employers need to allocate more to pension funds for their employees — which could be the other major factor making bosses unwilling to raise pay, the agency said.

After adjusting for inflation — which climbed 0.87 percent year-on-year from January to August — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, fell 0.94 percent from last year to NT$46,111 per month in the eight-month period, data showed.

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