The unemployment rate last month rose to its highest level since August last year, as employers offered fewer job openings and more college graduates entered the labor market butfailed to get an offer, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The unemployment rate — a lagging indicator of economic performance — climbed for the third consecutive month to 4.31 percent last month, from 4.21 percent in June, the agency said in its monthly report.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which he said was a more reliable indicator of the long-term trend, was up 0.01 percentage points from the previous month to 4.25 percent last month, the report said.
“More school-leavers entered the job market last month, further pushing up the number of first-time jobseekers failing to find a job,” DGBAS deputy director Chen Min (陳憫) told a press conference.
The latest data showed that 490,000 people were unemployed last month, an increase of 13,000 from the previous month, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to get a job rising by 11,000.
The increase was also reflected in the growing youth unemployment rate, with joblessness among 15-to-24-year-olds rising to 12.96 percent last month, up from 12.36 percent in June and 12.91 percent during the same period last year, the report showed.
Chen said the jobless rate may continue to show a rising trend this month on the same seasonal effect, which may boost the number of first-time jobseekers failing to get a job.
Weak sentiment about the economy would be the other major factor dragging down local employers’ hiring demand and further affecting the labor market in the near future, DGBAS said.
The number of employed people was 10.88 million last month, up 1.21 percent from a year earlier, marking the lowest comparative month-on-month rise in the past two years, which indicated the conservative attitude of employers generating new positions, the agency said.
Henry Ho (何啟聖), a public relations director at 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), also said the continuous downturn trend in the nation’s export orders indicated employers may decrease the number of job openings, further affecting the labor market.
DGBAS also unveiled the latest salary data yesterday, which showed that national monthly salaries averaged NT$37,276 (US$1,240) in the first half of this year, up 1.88 percent from a year ago.
However, when bonuses and other forms of compensation are included, the average monthly remuneration package showed a 0.24 percent markdown from a year earlier to stand at NT$48,829 in the first six months.
This reflected employers awarding lower year-end bonuses and other vocational rewards this year because the global economic slowdown is impacting their businesses, DGBAS said.
In addition, after adjusting for inflation — which climbed 1.47 percent year-on-year in the first six months — real wages fell a further 1.68 percent from a year earlier, data showed.