The number of foreign domestic employees in the nation increased 5.77 percent last year, nearly triple 2015’s growth, Ministry of Labor statistics showed.
As of the end of last year, there were 624,758 migrant workers, 237,291 of whom were employed as caregivers or home helpers, the data showed.
The number of domestic workers in 2015 grew 1.97 percent year-on-year, or 12,935, to 224,356, ahead of last year’s 5.77 percent spike, the data showed.
The number of foreign workers in the industrial sector last year increased by 23,893 to 387,477, representing a year-on-year increase of 6.57 percent, the data showed.
The annual increase in the total foreign workers was 6.26 percent, the statistics showed.
According to labor industry experts, the sharp growth rate could be attributed to an August 2015 change in government regulations that allowed the employment of foreign caregivers for people with mild disabilities aged 85 or older.
However, the ministry said only 700 foreign workers were employed last year to care for people with mild disabilities aged 85 or older. It said it would investigate the reasons for the increase.
The increase might be attributed to a relatively low comparison base in 2015, Workforce Development Agency section chief Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) said.
There have been fluctuations in the growth of the number of foreign domestic employees over the past 10 years because supply and demand hinges on the number of people eligible to hire such workers, he said.
Taiwan International Workers’ Association director Wu Ching-ju (吳靜如) said she doubted the high growth rate was linked to govern ment’s rule change.
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