Firms in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), which houses major tech companies, reported laying off 496 employees last month amid weakened global demand, Hsinchu Science Park Bureau director-general Wayne Wang (王永壯) said yesterday.
Wang told a news conference that 48 companies in the science park laid off employees last month, including one hard disk supplier which let go 241 employees as part of a plant closure due to falling demand.
Other companies reported sporadic layoffs as they adjusted to weakening demand, he said.
Photo: Yang Yuan-ting, Taipei Times
Wang made the remarks after local media reported the layoffs over the weekend.
Although the global economy is struggling with high inflation and interest rate hikes, recession remains unlikely, he said, adding that many companies in the Hsinchu Science Park are requesting to expand.
Construction of the first software building in the park’s 36-hectare “X” base — which is to be a hub for the development of emerging technologies such as precision healthcare and generative artificial intelligence — is scheduled to be completed in May, and is expected to spark a hiring drive.
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Deputy Minister Chen Tzong-chyuan (陳宗權) told the news conference that despite layoffs, the number of employees at the park at the end of last month rose 2 percent from a year earlier to 176,504.
In the first 10 months of this year, 1,605 workers in the park were laid off, less than 1 percent of the total number of employees, Chen added.
The NSTC oversees Taiwan’s three major science parks: Hsinchu Science Park, Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) and Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區).
So far this year, 52 foreign and local companies have set up operations in the three science parks, with their presence expected to attract NT$352.9 billion (US$11.2 billion) in private investment, Chen said.
The total number of people employed in all three science parks last month was 323,976, up from 323,113 a year earlier, he said.
The NSTC has instructed Hsinchu Science Park authorities to provide necessary assistance to the laid-off workers and urge firms to use furlough programs where possible to cushion employees from the effects of falling global demand, he said.
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