National Science Council (NSC) Minister Lee Lou-chuang (李羅權) took issue yesterday with local media reports that high-tech businesses are forcing employees to take furloughs as demand for their products slows.
Lee said that although production at local science parks was down in the first eight months of the year from the same period a year earlier, no furloughs had been reported between January and last month.
However, 28 companies have recently been encouraging employees to take their annual paid leave, Lee said at a legislative hearing in response to lawmakers’ questions on whether furloughs, commonly seen during the 2008 global financial crisis, had reappeared.
The number of people working at science parks reached a record 237,000 last month, Lee said, indicating that Taiwanese companies were still hiring new employees even as the global economy was mired in uncertainty.
Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠), Hsinchu Science Park Administration director-general Randy Yen (顏宗明) said it was difficult to tell whether companies in science parks would resort to furloughs in the near future.
However, the Central Taiwan Science Park in Greater Taichung and Southern Taiwan Science Park in Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung denied companies had already begun forcing employees to take unpaid leave.
However, there are indications of labor market weakness.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Huang Chih-hsiung (黃志雄) expressed concern at yesterday’s hearings about high unemployment among postdoctoral researchers and Lee pledged that the council would work with firms to ease the problem next year.
Under the council’s project, companies that hire postdoctoral researchers would receive a monthly subsidy of NT$30,000 for each person they hire and the minimum monthly salary for such employees would be NT$57,000.
As for the nation’s overall job market, a domestic online job bank said that it would weaken in the fourth quarter, predicting that the jobless rate would rise to more than 5 percent in the fourth quarter and for all of next year.
Henry Ho (何啟聖), public relations director of 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), said the job market had not yet completely absorbed the new graduates and warned they were chasing fewer jobs.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s