Taiwan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.85 percent last month to reach its lowest level since May 2008, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The figure represents improvements of 0.06 percentage points from 3.91 percent in April and 0.21 percentage points from 4.06 percent in May last year, the agency said in its monthly report.
It was the second consecutive month the jobless rate has fallen below 4 percent since the global financial crisis in 2008, the agency said.
The seasonally adjusted rate — a more accurate indicator of the long-term employment trend — also fell, shedding 0.05 percentage points from April to 3.99 percent last month, the report said.
The number of employed rose 12,000 to 11.05 million last month from a month earlier, with the number of unemployed down 6,000 month-on-month to 443,000, an indication that the job market has improved, DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) said.
However, Lo remained cautious about the unemployment situation in the near future, as a new round of college graduates will start entering the job market from this month, with these first-time jobseekers expected to raise the unemployment rate over the next few months.
“Historical data shows that the jobless rate in June usually remains higher than that in May,” Lo told a press conference.
However, 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) public relations director Daniel Lee (李大華) said demand for workers has been relatively strong this year, which may help slow the seasonally rising pace of the unemployment rate over the next few months.
The DGBAS report also said that the average monthly wage in the industrial and service sectors climbed to a record-level NT$37,871 in the first four months of the year, an increase of 1.37 percent from the previous year.
The overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, rose 4.73 percent to a new high of NT$53,769 in the January-to-April period, compared with the same period in the previous year, the report said.
However, the increase in the average wage was still lower than the pace of the consumer price index.
After adjusting the average for inflation — which climbed 1.01 percent year-on-year in the first four months — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, totaled NT$52,087, which was still less than the NT$52,810 recorded during the same period in 1998, the report said.