Tue, Apr 23, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Unemployment rate falls, but adjusted figure rises

‘HARMLESS’ SLOWDOWN:The unemployment rate last month fell 0.04 percentage points, but after seasonal adjustment increased 0.01 percent from a month earlier

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The unemployment rate last month fell to 3.68 percent, with fewer job losses from seasonal work, downsizing and closures, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The reading is down 0.04 percentage points from February, when a considerable number of people switched jobs after receiving year-end bonuses, the DGBAS said.

“Some of them have secured positions, sending the jobless gauge lower,” Census Department Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) told a media briefing.

The unemployment rate after seasonal adjustment was 3.72 percent, compared with 3.71 percent a month earlier, the agency said in a report.

Pan attributed the slight increase to an ongoing economic slowdown, which appears harmless judging by the stable job market.

The total number of unemployed people fell by 5,000 to 438,000, including 2,000 who lost jobs in temporary positions, the report said.

There was also a fall in the number of first-time jobseekers and people who lost jobs due to businesses downsizing or closing, it said.

University graduates had the highest unemployment rate at 5.07 percent, followed by high-school graduates at 3.54 percent and those with graduate degrees at 2.77 percent, the report said.

Unemployment was highest among people aged 20 to 24 — at 11.78 percent — followed by those aged 15 to 19 (8.76 percent) and those aged 25 to 29 (6.37 percent), it said.

The average unemployment period was 22.5 weeks last month, 0.2 weeks longer than a month earlier, the DGBAS said, adding that the period is longer for first-time jobseekers at 29.6 weeks.

Taiwan’s unemployment rate is higher than its major regional trade rivals: Singapore’s is 2.2 percent, Japan’s is 2.3 percent, Hong Kong’s is 2.8 percent and South Korea’s is 3.7 percent, it said.

For the first quarter, unemployment averaged 3.72 percent, higher than 3.7 percent in the same period last year, as expectations of a global economic slowdown dampened hiring activity, it added.

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