Hiring at lowest in three years, CLA survey shows

STABLE, BUT SLOWING::A net 36,300 new jobs could be created between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, but that is 26% lower than in the last quarter and 43% less than last year

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 05, 2012 - Page 13

Domestic companies plan to hire more staff by the end of next month than three months ago, but the number of new hires represents the lowest over the same period in three years, according to the Council of Labor Affairs’ latest survey.

The council’s survey of employers, conducted between July 23 and Aug. 10, showed that 22.4 percent of the 3,013 employers polled said they would increase their staff by Oct. 31 and only 5.82 percent planned to reduce hiring.

Based on the council’s poll of domestic companies with 30 or more employees, 65.61 percent said they would not change their level of recruitment through the end of next month. About 54,300 workers are expected to be hired by the end of next month, while 18,000 jobs will be eliminated, according to a statement released by the council.

By subtracting the number of employers planning to reduce staffing from the number planning to hire, the survey showed a net 36,300 new jobs would be created between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, the council said.

However, that net increase is 26.06 percent lower than the 49,100 jobs in the previous three months and 43.09 percent less than the 63,800 jobs created during the same period last year, the council’s statistics showed.

“Taiwan’s labor market remains stable,” the council said in the statement. “However, the decline in new hires reflects weakening momentum in the nation’s exports amid the global economic slowdown. With employee wages remaining stagnant and rising prices affecting domestic consumption, companies have shown some reservations about further investment.”

Last month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) slashed its forecast for GDP growth this year to 1.66 percent from the 2.08 percent it estimated in July, as the agency said that it expected exports to contract 1.72 percent for the whole of this year — the first contraction since the global financial crisis — and that private investment might fall 1.03 percent from last year, while private consumption looks to post a slight increase of 1.58 percent.

The council said the manufacturing sector was the biggest contributor, with a net increase of 14,800 new jobs, followed by the banking and insurance sector (5,000), wholesale and retail sector (4,700), transportation and logistics (2,800) and corporate support services (2,700).

The type of workers most in demand were technicians and assistance staff (17,300), followed by equipment operators and assemblers (10,900), specialists (2,800), service and sales representatives (2,200) and unskilled or manual workers (2,000), the survey showed.