Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 13 News List

Unemployment rate rises despite dip in December

SHIFTING PRIORITIES:Companies are hiring graduates of management programs amid slumping exports and a slowing manufacturing sector, 1111 Job Bank said

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

The unemployment rate last month declined 0.04 percentage points to 3.87 percent from November last year, but gained 0.08 percentage points from a year earlier, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported yesterday.

For last year as a whole, the unemployment rate dropped 0.18 percentage points to 3.78 percent, the lowest in 15 years, the DGBAS said.

“The impact of the current economic downturn on the job market has remained constant,” DGBAS deputy section head Chang Yun-yun (張雲澐) said, adding that the number of workers who have lost seasonal or temporary jobs declined last month, ending a trend of monthly increases.

Last year, unemployed people totaled 440,000, 17,000 less than in 2014, DGBAS data showed.

The jobless rate for the 15 to 24 age group was 12.05 percent last year, 3.95 percent for the 25 to 44 age bracket and 1.99 percent for people aged between 45 and 64 years, the data showed.

Among the unemployed, 4.79 percent have university degrees or higher education credentials, the data showed.

Due mostly to slumping exports and a slowing manufacturing sector, companies have begun to favor graduates of management or law programs, shifting away from science and technology graduates, 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) vice president Daniel Lee (李大華) said.

Meanwhile, the average take-home pay for workers in the first 11 months of last year rose to an eight-year high, but remains lower than the level 15 years ago, the DGBAS data showed.

Average monthly wages after adjustments for inflation from January to November last year rose 1.71 percent annually to NT$37,316, less than the NT$37,792 recorded in 2000, the data showed.

Including overtime and performance bonuses and other benefits, total monthly wages rose 3.05 percent annually to NT$46,936 in the period after adjustments for inflation, less than the NT$46,998 recorded in 2004.

Barclays PLC this week said the nation’s tepid wage growth poses the greatest challenge for the new government, as real wages grew by only 2 percent over the past decade, the second-lowest in Asia.

In a report published on Thursday, Barclays said that while government incentives might encourage businesses to raise wages in the short term, long-term improvements would require industry transitions.

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