The unemployment rate last month is likely to have increased from the July figure of 4.31 percent due to seasonal factors such as new graduates entering the labor market in summer, an official said yesterday.
The number of new graduates in the job market rose last month from July, which means the jobless rate for August will probably climb, said the official from the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS), who requested anonymity.
Furthermore, the jobless rate is unlikely to drop this month as it has in the past two years, unless the labor market opens up, the official said.
Cheng Chih-yu (成之約), a professor at National Chengchi University’s Graduate Institute of Labor Research, also predicted a rise in the jobless rate for last month, but said it would be slight.
Although exports and the value of export orders fell last month for the sixth straight month, the tourism and food sectors in the country were doing relatively well, he said.
This month, unemployment figures could also increase, but again only marginally, as many companies are likely to adopt unpaid leave measures, instead of downsizing, in response to a possible negative growth in exports, Cheng said.
Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆), an associate professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of National Development, agreed that the drop in exports would not necessarily affect the jobless rate, but may lead to reduced working hours and unpaid leave.
However, he said the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and Christmas holidays in the second half are likely to give the economy a boost.
The forecasts were made ahead of the DGBAS’ release today of the unemployment rate for last month. According to the Council of Labor Affairs, as of Sept. 15, 32 companies had implemented unpaid leave, affecting 1,009 employees.