The number of migrant workers in Taiwan in June surpassed 600,000 for the first time, despite a recent slowdown in the pace of recruitment, the Ministry of Labor said on Monday.
As of last month, 603,109 foreigners were employed as construction workers, factory workers, domestic helpers or in other manual labor, the ministry said.
These migrant workers, who come primarily from Southeast Asia, recorded the most rapid growth during the eight-year administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), exceeding 400,000 and 500,000 for the first time in June 2011 and April 2014 respectively.
However, the rate of increase slowed during the first half of this year, probably due to Taiwan’s economic slowdown, the ministry said.
From January to last month, the number of foreign workers rose by just 15,000 people, compared with 36,000 for all of last year, 62,000 in 2014 and 40,000 in 2013, the ministry said.
On the issue of absconding workers, the ministry said that the number of migrant workers who are unaccounted for has not seen any significant increase, remaining stable at between 3 percent and 4 percent over the past 10 years.
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