Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Flood of new jobseekers lifts unemployment rate

WAGE WORK:The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics also found that the average monthly salary in two leading sectors saw a slight gain

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s unemployment rate rose to 3.92 percent last month, from the 3.85 percent recorded last month, following the influx of a large number of first-time jobseekers to the job market during the graduation season, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The month-on-month rise in the unemployment rate was in line with market and the DGBAS’ expectations, as a new round of college graduates usually start entering the job market beginning in June every year, with these first-time jobseekers often raising the jobless rate through the following few months.

However, the 3.92 percent jobless rate posted last month still marked the lowest period level for 14 years, an indication that unemployment this year may be gentler than previous years, DGBAS said in its monthly report.

“The mild rebounding economic sentiment made local companies post more job openings, further helping slow the unemployment situation for first-time jobseekers this year,” DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) told a press conference.

The number of unemployed people rose by 8,000 to 451,000 last month from a month earlier, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to get an offer up by 11,000 month-on-month, the report said.

For the first six months of the year, the number of employed people averaged 456,000, a decline of 16,000 compared with the same period last year, with the average jobless rate during the period remaining at 3.97 percent, its lowest period level for six years, the report’s data showed.

The DGBAS report also said that the average monthly wage in the industrial and service sectors climbed to a record NT$37,918 in the first five months of the year, an increase of 1.39 percent from the previous year.

The overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, rose 4.85 percent to a new high of NT$51,906 in the January-to-May period, compared with the same period in the previous year, the report said.

However, the increase in the average monthly wage was still lower than the pace of the nation’s headline inflation reading.

After adjusting the average for inflation — which climbed 1.14 percent year-on-year in the first five months — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, totaled NT$50,219, which was still less than the NT$50,553 recorded during the same period in 1998, the report said.

1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) public relations director Daniel Lee (李大華) said demand for human resources has been relatively strong this year, which may help slow the seasonally rising pace of the unemployment rate over the next few months.

Despite the economic recovery, fewer companies in Taiwan have planned to give their employees a raise this year than a year ago, Lee said, citing a survey conducted by the online manpower agency, which found 55 percent of polled employers plan to give employees raises this year, down 9 percentage points from a year ago.

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