Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Manufacturers are facing labor shortage, CLA says

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

An official survey showed that the country's manufacturing sector is experiencing a labor shortage, with an estimated 80,000 job vacancies.

The survey was conducted by the Council of Labor Affairs' (CLA) statistics department under the instructions of CLA Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), who requested the survey after receiving numerous complaints about the labor availability.

Between Aug. 15 and Aug. 30, the CLA sent questionnaires to 25,844 factories around the island, each employing over 30 workers. Sixty percent of questionnaires were returned, with 15,170 valid responses.

Results revealed that as of the end of July, 26.54 percent of the factories had a labor shortage problem, with 80,960 workers needed to fill the gap.

By job category, the most serious manpower shortage in the manufacturing sector was manual or unskilled workers -- 57,262 people -- followed by a shortage in 17,065 skilled workers, then 6,633 in desk workers and trading personnel.

Among unskilled workers, the largest shortage was seen in factories operating round the clock -- a shortage of 30,290 laborers. The next largest gap was among the dirtiest, most dangerous and degrading jobs -- 26,108 laborers.

Factors behind the shortage in unskilled workers include the difficulty in finding experienced workers, low wages, occupational hazards or working in remote areas, according to the survey.

The figures will be used by the CLA as reference in assessing whether to import more foreign workers into Taiwan, the council said, noting that automating the production process has been the sector's last priority in dealing with the manpower problem.

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