Thu, Nov 23, 2017 - Page 12 News List

October jobless rate hit 17-year low

IMPROVED OUTLOOK:DGBAS said Taiwan’s GDP beat third-quarter forecasts, while the holiday season might provide jobseekers with more seasonal opportunities

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s unemployment rate stood at 3.75 percent last month, down 0.02 percentage points from September and the lowest level for October in 17 years, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

Firms in service sectors might also hire more staffers ahead of the holiday season next month, lending support to the job market, it said.

“The job market is better this year compared with the same time last year due to continued economic improvement,” DGBAS Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) told a media briefing.

Taiwan’s GDP increased by 3.11 percent in the third quarter, better than forecasts by research institutes at home and abroad, DGBAS said.

The increase was due to strong inventory demand for electronic components used in smartphones, personal computers, connected vehicles and Internet of Things devices, it said.

It is expected to pick up further ahead of the Christmas and Lunar New Year holidays, officials said.

The third-quarter showing might allow the agency to raise GDP growth for this year when it issues its update it tomorrow.

After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate was 3.69 percent, also down 0.02 percentage points from a month earlier, yesterday’s report showed.

That means a decline of 2,000 to reach a total of 443,000 unemployed people, the agency said.

Among them, the number of first-time jobseekers dropped by 3,000 and people who lost jobs to business downsizing or closures fell by 2,000.

However, people who quit their jobs increased by 2,000 and people who lost jobs because of temporary hiring and seasonal reasons increased by 1,000, the report said.

People with a university degree had the highest unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, followed by people with a high-school qualification at 3.7 percent. People with a graduate education had an unemployment rate of 2.88 percent, it said.

The unemployment rate was highest at 12.33 percent among people aged 20 to 24, followed by the 15 to 19 age group at 8.03 percent, and 6.55 percent for those between 25 and 29, it said.

For the first 10 months of this year, the unemployment rate averaged 3.77 percent, down 0.17 percentage points from the same period last year, the report said.

The economic improvement allowed firms to raise wages modestly for employees in September, compared with last year.

Total monthly wages including overtime pay, bonuses and other compensation averaged NT$45,814 in September, while monthly take-home pay stood at NT$40,116, the DGBAS said in a separate report.

That represents increases of 1.35 percent and 2.51 percent respectively from a year earlier.

For the first nine months, take-home pay averaged NT$39,829 per month, an increase of 1.75 percent from the same period last year, it said, adding that the real gain is 1.06 percent after factoring in the 0.69 percent inflation.

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