The level of joblessness climbed for the third straight month last month to 4.33 percent, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday, adding that the unemployment rate might improve this month based on historical trends.
The unemployment rate — an indicator of slowing economic performance — last month reached its highest level since October last year and was up from 4.25 percent in July, the agency said in its monthly report.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, a more reliable indicator of long-term trends, was up 0.01 percentage points to 4.19 percent last month from July, the report said.
DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) attributed the month-on-month rise to the influx of first-time jobseekers following their graduation from school, as well as the increase in part-time jobseekers during the summer vacation.
Data showed that 497,000 people were unemployed last month, an increase of 10,000 from the previous month, with the number of first-time jobseekers failing to receive job offers rising by 7,000.
“The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate showed a month-on-month increase for the second consecutive month. It grew by just 0.01 percentage points, an indication that the employment situation remained stable,” Lo told a press conference in Taipei.
Lo said the historical trend in the unemployment rate showed that the figure usually rose to its highest annual level in August and improved in the following months, with the current pace of mild economic recovery also expected to support the trend.
Taipei-based Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said it expected the jobless rate to improve in the fourth quarter, as the global economic recovery during the period may raise demand for Taiwanese products, which would further boost employers’ labor demands.
Online employment agency 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) said the 4.33 percent unemployment rate recorded last month was the lowest level in four years, with the number of job openings posted to its database also reaching a historical high, both signifying that the employment market is gradually improving.
The DGBAS also published the average monthly wages of workers in the industrial and service sectors, which climbed to a new high of NT$37,627 after rising by 0.71 percent annually in the first seven months of the year.
However, the overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, dropped 0.3 percent to NT$47,881 in the first seven months compared with a year earlier, as employers handed out fewer bonuses because of the weak economic sentiment last year, the agency said.
After adjusting for inflation — which climbed 1.13 percent year-on-year during the same period — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, fell 1.41 percent from the previous year to a four-year low of NT$46,786 per month in the seven-month period, data showed.