While the jobless rate fell last month, youth unemployment remained stubbornly high at 13.56 percent, with the figure unlikely to improve significantly in the short term because of a tepid economy, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The agency’s latest report showed that the unemployment rate dropped to 4.16 percent last month from 4.24 percent in October, marking its lowest level since June.
On an annual basis, it was down 0.11 percentage points last month.
The number of people unemployed reached 478,000 last month, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous month, data showed.
The number of first-time jobseekers who failed to get an offer declined by 6,000 last month from October, while the number of people who lost their job as a result of businesses downsizing or factories closing dropped by 2,000, the report showed.
Despite a lackluster economy, “the labor market has been relatively steady” this year, DGBAS Deputy Director Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲) told a press conference.
However, youth unemployment remained high, with the jobless rate for the 15-to-24 age group rising 0.15 percentage points to 13.56 percent last month from a year earlier, the report showed.
Given the current state of the economy, it may be difficult for young people and first-time jobseekers to get an offer fast, Lo said.
On a monthly basis, however, it was an improvement from the 13.89 percent recorded in October and marked the third consecutive monthly decline, Lo added.
The statistics agency also published the average monthly wage of workers in the industrial and service sectors, which climbed to a new high of NT$37,677 after rising 0.92 percent annually in the first 10 months of the year.
However, the overall average monthly wage, including bonuses and compensation, only increased 0.07 percent to NT$46,326 from January to October compared with a year earlier, as employers handed out fewer bonuses as the economy remained weak, the agency said.
After adjusting for inflation — which climbed 0.84 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months — the real average wage, including bonuses and compensation, fell 0.77 percent from last year to NT$45,112 in the 10-month period, lower than the level of NT$45,514 recorded in 1998, the data showed.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) showed that more than two-thirds of companies in Taiwan may raise salaries for employees next year on expectations of a better economic recovery.
“More employers in the service sector are willing to raise pay levels next year,” 1111 Job Bank public relations director Daniel Lee (李大華) said in a note, adding that most of these companies would not increase pay by more than 5 percent.
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