The unemployment rate last month dropped 0.04 percentage points to 3.62 percent, as more first-time jobseekers landed positions and fewer people lost work to business downsizing and closures, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said yesterday.
The latest unemployment data, gathered from April 10 to April 16, when daily COVID-19 cases stood between 500 and 1,300, do not reflect the effect of surging cases on the job market, agency Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) said.
“We saw a mild advance in the number of people who work for fewer than 35 hours per week, and we will pay close attention to any changes,” Chen said.
Restaurants, hotels and travel agencies have encouraged employees to use annual leave to deal with a business slowdown, and said they would introduce unpaid leave programs if hardships endure.
Many people have been avoiding non-essential activity since daily infections surpassed 60,000 earlier this month.
The jobless rate reached 3.68 percent after seasonal adjustments, a 0.02 percentage dip from one month earlier, the agency said.
The retreat came after the number of first-time jobseekers declined by 2,000, and people quitting or losing work due to downsizing or closures fell by 1,000 each, it said.
The government allows many business sectors to maintain normal operations in an attempt to coexist with the virus, lending support to the job market, Chen said, adding that negative effects from this approach might appear later this month.
People who work fewer than 35 hours per week grew from 203,000 in March to 234,000 last month. As of May 15, 15,013 employees from 2,369 firms used unpaid leave.
The Ministry of Labor has revived wage subsidy programs to mitigate the financial burden of workers on unpaid leave and let them receive occupational training.
By educational status, 5.17 percent of university graduates were unemployed, followed by high-school graduates at 3.35 percent and people with graduate degrees at 2.68 percent, the agency said.
By age, 12.26 percent of people aged 20 to 24 were unemployed, followed by the 15-to-19 age bracket at 8.11 percent, the 25-to-29 age group at 6.1 percent and the 30-to-34 age group at 3.6 percent, it said.
Taiwan’s unemployment rate of 3.62 percent is lower than Hong Kong’s 5.5 percent, but higher than South Korea’s 3 percent and Japan’s 2.6 percent, Germany’s 2.9 percent and the US’ 3.3 percent, government data showed.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in July made its consumer health products division a separate entity as it transforms into a world-leading biopharmaceutical company. By uniting science, technology and talent, the company is aiming to prevent and treat diseases with innovative vaccines, specialty pharmaceuticals and general medicines. GSK’s headquarters annually invests NT$192 billion (US$6.07 billion) in research and development, focusing on immune science and advanced technologies in human genetics. GSK’s drug and vaccine development focuses on infectious diseases, HIV, oncology and immunology. Investing in clinical trial research each year, GSK also brings drug development to Taiwan. It cooperates with 17 medical institutes and research
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