The unemployment rate last month rose to its highest level this year, with an increasing number of first-time jobseekers — mainly new graduates — unable to get job offers, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The unemployment rate — a lagging indicator of economic performance — rose to 4.25 percent last month, from 4.14 percent in June, to its highest level since November last year, the DGBAS said in its monthly report.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate — a more accurate indicator of the long-term employment trend — also rose by 0.01 percentage points from June to 4.18 percent last month, the report said.
DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) attributed the month-on-month rise in unemployment to the influx of first-time jobseekers following the graduation season.
Data showed that 487,000 people were unemployed last month, an increase of 14,000 from the previous month, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to receive job offers rising by 10,000.
“The figures indicate that the nation’s jobless rate usually shows a month-on-month increase from June to August,” Lo told a press conference.
About 310,000 college students graduate each year, with 40 percent entering the job market directly, which may lead to a temporary rise in the unemployment rate, Lo added.
However, the labor market remained steady, as the number of employed still rose 0.23 percent last month from June, Lo said.
With stable economic conditions and labor market, Lo said the jobless rate might show a month-on-month decline from September.
SinoPac Securities Investment Service Co (永豐投顧) shared the DGBAS’ view, saying the job market was still on track to improve in the long run.
On an annual basis, the unemployment rate last month still showed a decrease of 0.06 percentage points from July last year, providing more evidence of an improving job market, the report said.
However, SinoPac Securities said the unemployment rate may continue the month-on-month rising trend this month to stand at 4.3 percent.
The DGBAS yesterday also published the average monthly wages of workers in the industrial and service sectors, which climbed to the highest level ever at NT$37,604 after rising by 0.68 percent annually in the first half of this year.
However, the overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, dropped 0.76 percent to NT$48,651 in the first six months compared with a year earlier, as employers distributed fewer bonuses because of the weak economic sentiment last year, the agency said.
After adjusting for inflation — which climbed 1.31 percent year-on-year during the same period — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, fell 1.9 percent from the previous year to a four-year low of NT$47,557 per month in the six-month period, marking the lowest level in four years, data showed.