Taiwan is experiencing a severe imbalance between talent inflows and outflows, with the majority of Taiwanese leaving to work abroad having higher education degrees that qualify them for professional jobs, while most foreigners working in Taiwan are non-professionals, an official research report said.
The number of Taiwanese working in abroad increased from 662,000 in 2009 to 728,000 in 2016, a labor policy report by the Legislative Yuan Budget Center said.
Among Taiwanese working overseas in 2016, 534,000, or 73.4 percent, had undergraduate, graduate or higher academic degrees, the report said.
In contrast, the number of foreign professionals working in Taiwan rose much more slowly, from 27,319 in 2008 to 30,928 in 2016, the report said, adding that only 2,634, or 8.52 percent, of them were high-ranking executives at foreign companies or those that belong to Taiwanese expats.
At the same time, the number of foreigners hired to perform non-professional jobs in Taiwan grew from 365,060 in 2008 to 676,142 in 2016, the report said.
The report raised concerns over the potential effects of the brain drain on Taiwan’s technological competitiveness.
With most foreigners coming to Taiwan to work not qualified to help improve the nation’s innovation and research and development capabilities, the nation faces a “high-out, low-in” deficit in its talent bank, the report said.
In addition to the talent imbalance, Taiwan also saw an imbalance in labor supply and demand.
For example, the labor shortage rate in the industrial sector increased from 1.79 percent in February 2009 to 3.1 percent in February this year and the ratio of vacant jobs to the number of people unemployed surged from 19 percent in 2009 to 56 percent this year, the report said.
In February, Taiwan had a jobless rate of 3.7 percent, or 438,000, while its industrial sector reported that 243,920 positions were vacant, it said.
The industrial sector is in desperate need of workers, but is suffering from a labor shortage due to a lack of people with the right qualifications, beside other factors, the report said.
The Budget Center is tasked with researching, analyzing, assessing and advising on the central government’s budget and other bills.
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