The unemployment rate last month dropped to 3.68 percent, falling for the fifth straight month, as fewer people quit or lost their jobs due to business downsizing or closures, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The latest data showed a decline of 0.07 percentage points from a month earlier as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to subside, although it has not yet disappeared, the DGBAS said.
“The job market in Taiwan is quite stable, compared with that in other countries in terms of unemployment and labor participation rates,” DGBAS Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) told a media briefing.
The labor participation rate softened from a month earlier to 59.14 percent, the data showed.
The jobless reading after seasonal adjustments was 3.76 percent, shrinking 0.01 percentage points from November last year, affirming a stable job market, according to the agency’s monthly report.
The jobless population contracted by about 9,000 people to 440,000 last month as the number of people who lost jobs due to business downsizing or closures dropped by about 4,000, the agency said.
First-time jobseekers declined at a comparable pace, while people who quit decreased by about 1,000, it said.
For the whole of last year, the jobless rate averaged 3.85 percent, gaining 0.12 percentage points from 2019, it said.
Chen blamed the COVID-19 situation for last year’s data, as it diminished consumer activity in the first quarter, pushing the unemployment rate to 4.07 percent in May last year.
The situation started to improve after July, thanks to a boom in domestic tourism and the government’s Triple Stimulus Voucher program after infections were brought under control in Taiwan, she said.
People with university degrees had the highest unemployment rate at 5.48 percent last year, followed by high-school graduates at 3.56 percent and people with graduate degrees at 3.1 percent, the report showed.
People with a junior college education had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.78 percent, followed by people with a junior-high school education at 2.85 percent, it said.
People aged 20 to 24 had the highest unemployment rate at 12.06 percent, followed by the 15-to-19 bracket at 8.18 percent, the 25-to-29 group at 6.5 percent and the 30-to-34 bracket at 3.67 percent, it said.
People aged 45 to 64 had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.3 percent, it said.
There were 4,000 jobs added last year, the poorest performance since the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, Chen said, adding that the pandemic poses continued uncertainty for this year.
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