The unemployment rate rose to 3.82 percent last month, a 15-year low for the month, but up from 3.71 percent in June, as new graduates entered the job market and need more time to land positions, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The latest jobless reading suggests a stable labor market that is likely to continue to lend support to domestic demand, while exports falter, limiting GDP growth, the statistics agency said.
“The unemployment rate represents a 15-year low for the month of July and is 0.2 percentage point lower from a year earlier, affirming a healthy job market,” DGBAS deputy section head Chang Yun-yun (張雲澐) said.
The job market has held steady for months even though the agency on Aug. 14 cut the growth forecast by more than half to 1.56 percent for this year, from 3.28 percent projected in May.
That is because employers tend to keep headcounts unchanged against short-term business disruptions, making jobless rates a lagging indicator by three to six months in reflecting economic conditions.
The jobless population may see a further mild gain this month, from 445,000 last month, an increase of 14,000 from June, the DGBAS report showed.
An addition of 0.2 to 0.4 percentage point in jobless rates is commonplace during this time of the year, Chang said.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.74 percent last month, down 3.76 percent, signaling stable headcounts among companies across sectors, the report said.
Of the unemployed population, the number of first-time job seekers rose by 11,000, while people who lost their jobs to seasonal factors and temporary hiring grew by 2,000 and 1,000 respectively, the report said.
People who quit jobs dropped by 2,000, the report added.
A breakdown by education shows that unemployment was highest among people with a university degree or higher at 4.88 percent, followed by college graduates at 4.19 percent and high-school graduates at 3.88 percent, according to DGBAS tallies.
By age group, unemployment was highest among people aged 15 to 24 at 12.28 percent, compared with the 25-to-44 age group at 3.95 percent and the 45-to-64 age group at 2.02 percent, the report said.
In a separate report, the average monthly wage stood at NT$38,833 in June, up 1.67 percent from last year, the agency said.
Adding non-regular compensation, the average monthly wage rose 4.75 percent year-on-year to NT$44,581 in June, the report showed.
For the first six months of the year, average take-home pay gained 1.53 percent year-on-year to NT$38,547 per month and rose 3.72 percent to NT$52,215 if including bonuses and other benefits.
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