The unemployment rate last month fell to 3.64 percent from 3.66 percent in December last year, as more first-time jobseekers landed positions and fewer people quit their jobs, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
That is the lowest jobless rate in eight months, although it is slightly higher than the rate in January last year. The gauge after seasonal adjustments edged up 0.02 percentage points to a 16-month high of 3.72 percent.
“The findings lend support to a stable job market,” Census Department Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) told a media briefing in Taipei.
The total number of unemployed fell by 2,000 to 434,000 people, with first-time jobseekers down by 1,000 people, the DGBAS’ report said.
The total number of people who quit their jobs was down by 2,000, but the same number lost jobs due to business closures or downsizing, it said.
University graduates had the highest unemployment rate at 5.03 percent, followed by high-school graduates at 3.52 percent and those with graduate degrees at 2.79 percent, it said.
Unemployment was highest among people aged 20 to 24 — 11.73 percent, followed by those aged 15 to 19 (8.55 percent) and those aged 25 to 29 (6.29 percent), it said.
That means one in 10 young people in Taiwan is unemployed, a number that has varied little over the years. During the global financial crisis a decade ago, the jobless rates among young people was 11.9 percent.
Pan attributed the trend to first-time jobseekers needing more time to adjust to “the real world.”
The unemployment period averaged 22.5 weeks last month, 0.1 weeks more than in December, but was 25.6 weeks for first-time jobseekers, the DGBAS said.
Taiwan’s working population totaled 1.15 million people, an increase of 0.04 percent from December and up by 0.66 percent from a year earlier, as the labor force is slowly expanding, the report said.
Taiwan’s unemployment rate is higher than its major regional trade rivals: Singapore’s is 2.2 percent, Japan’s 2.4 percent, Hong Kong’s 2.8 percent and South Korea’s 3.8 percent, it said.
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