Fri, Jun 02, 2017 - Page 11 News List

February labor shortage hit 230,000

Staff writer, with CNA

The nation had a labor shortfall of more than 230,000 at the end of February, as the domestic economy continued on the path to recovery, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

In the non-farm sector, the labor shortage was 233,000 workers, an increase of 25,000 from the end of August last year and 28,000 from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

The job vacancy rate in the non-farm sector was 3.01 percent at the end of February, up 0.31 percentage points from the end of August and 0.32 percentage points higher than a year earlier, the agency said.

The latest data from the DGBAS, one of its biannual updates on the industrial and service labor market, reflected a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate as the economy recovered.

The agency forecasts that the economy would grow 2.05 percent this year, compared with 1.5 percent last year.

On Monday last week, the DGBAS reported that the nation’s jobless rate dipped had dipped to 3.67 percent in April, the lowest level since May 2015, when it stood at 3.62 percent.

However, the DGBAS said the rising shortage was due in part to the government’s introduction of new labor regulations that reduced the maximum number of working hours from 84 per fortnight to 40 per week, with one mandatory day off and one flexible rest day each week.

The manufacturing sector accounted for the biggest shortfall of about 88,000 workers in the non-farm sector, or 37.9 percent of the total; followed by the retail/wholesale segment with a shortage of 43,000 workers, or 18.5 percent of the total; and the hospitality/food/beverage sector with 18,000, or 7.5 percent of the total, the DGBAS said.

The electronics component business had the biggest shortfall of about 19,000 workers in the manufacturing sector, followed by the production business with 10,000 and machinery industry with 8,000, DGBAS data showed.

In terms of the vacancy rate, the drug/medical product business had the highest rate of 3.77 percent in the manufacturing sector, the DGBAS said.

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