Tue, Mar 25, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Youth unemployment rate up slightly

BETTER TIMES AHEAD:The overall employment situation is to improve this year, while the average monthly wage was up 1.21 percent from a year before, DGBAS said

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The unemployment rate for the 15-to-24 age group was 12.89 percent last month, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from January, with the jobless rate for 20-to-24-year-olds — at 13.38 percent — three times higher than the national average, the latest government data showed.

For people with a university or post-graduate degree, the unemployment rate rose by 0.13 percentage points from January to 5.03 percent, higher than the national average of 4.09 percent, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The agency did not elaborate on the youth unemployment situation, only saying at a press conference that the overall employment would improve throughout this year.

The jobless rate of 4.09 percent last month was 0.07 percentage points higher than January’s level. Seasonally adjusted, the figure was 0.02 percentage points higher than January, which DGBAS said supports its forecast that the jobless rate may start declining this month.

“Based on historical experience, the jobless rate usually rises after the Lunar New Year holiday,” DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) said.

However, under a stable economic situation, the unemployment rate often improves in the following months, she added.

The agency said the average monthly wage in the industrial and service sectors was NT$37,938 (US$1,240) in January, an increase of 1.21 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS report said.

The overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, rose 47.13 percent to NT$88,285 in January compared with a year earlier, the agency’s data showed, as most employers distributed bonuses in January ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

After adjusting for inflation — which climbed 0.83 percent year-on-year in January — the real average wage last month, including bonuses and compensation, rose 0.38 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS data showed.

However, more than 70 percent of employees nationwide earned less than NT$40,000 a month, according to a DGBAS report issued in November last year, which was based on data from a survey the previous May.

More than 60 percent of workers under the age of 30 took home less than NT$30,000 a month as of May last year, while more than 80 percent made less than NT$40,000, DGBAS data showed.

The average monthly wage for 20-to-24-year-olds was NT$24,269, the lowest among all age groups in the survey.

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