Boosting women’s participation in the local workforce should be included in flexible talent recruitment drives as local businesses face chronic labor shortages while the nation’s birthrate declines and the workforce ages.
The labor shortage has been a major concern for Taiwanese businesses. The situation has become more severe in recent years, as a growing number of companies have relocated production and jobs back to Taiwan to circumvent export restrictions due to the US-China trade row, coupled with a declining rate of new college graduates.
The number of job openings fell mildly to 258,000 at the end of February from 268,970 a year earlier, which was the second-highest level in February since 2011, statistics released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) last week showed. That represented 3.07 percent of total employed workers, indicating an acute labor shortage.
The shortage was concentrated in the manufacturing sector, which listed 106,725 job openings, primarily in the semiconductor and electronic components segments, DGBAS data showed. As the manufacturing sector — especially semiconductors — tends to be more attractive to jobseekers, other sectors are under mounting pressure to fill vacancies.
Making matters worse is that the nation’s working population aged 25 to 54 is expected to experience a persistent downward spiral to 8.56 million people in 2030, compared with 8.91 million in 2010, due to the low birthrate, according to the latest projection by the National Development Council.
The government and local businesses should work together to explore potential human resources and boost the workforce. The government should come up with medium to long-term labor force plans, while businesses should look at raising wages, and creating a friendly and inclusive working environment.
Encouraging women to return to the workforce should be considered one of the major approaches to unleash potential labor power, given lower female participation in the domestic labor market. Taiwan lags behind major economies with a female labor participation rate of 51.4 percent, lower than South Korea’s 52.8 percent, Japan’s 53.2 percent and Singapore’s 61.2 percent, according to the Ministry of Labor’s latest tallies. In the US, female participation stood at 56.2 percent, statistics showed.
As women are usually given the childcare responsibilities, most women leave the workforce because of insufficient childcare and lower wages. A lack of flexible working hours also keeps women out of the workforce.
The government should overhaul rigid parental leave rules, as employers are unwilling to improve the situation, opposing government proposals to make parental leave more flexible.
Manufacturers have criticized the government’s plans to increase family leave to help parents take care of their children, saying such proposals would increase labor costs and reduce operating efficiency. Instead, they have repeatedly urged the government to allow more foreign workers to fill entry-level jobs. However, unemployment in Taiwan amounts to half a million people, which is more than the job openings. That means there are enough workers, but people chose to leave their jobs because of the poor working environment and stagnant wages.
To solve this long-term labor supply issue, it is crucial that employers improve the working environment and raise salaries, rather than counting on cheap, imported workers. Meanwhile, the government should be making long-term plans to cultivate talent suited to local industries.
The Jumbo Floating Restaurant was a landmark in Hong Kong for nearly half a century. The palatial restaurant, with its pastiche Chinese architecture and neon lights perfectly encapsulated the territory’s beguiling balance of East and West, tradition and modernity. It was a feature backdrop in numerous Hong Kong films. However, forced to close amid the stringent COVID-19 lockdown policies of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) and denied financial support from her government, the floating temple to Cantonese gastronomy was towed from its mooring in Aberdeen Harbour this month by its owners with its planned destination not released. On June
Opinion polls show that Taiwan’s judicial system and law enforcement “enjoy” low approval ratings among Taiwanese. In spite of data showing low crime rates, many Taiwanese drivers have faced aggressive driving, unprovoked road rage, road blocking and unmotivated police officers. Some criminals seem to consider themselves above the law, which is not completely wrong. Reports about so-called “road blocking” can be found in newspapers or on YouTube. An example of this is when “road rowdies” block a vehicle on a road, get out of their vehicle and start to attack the occupants of the blocked vehicle — often attacking in a
Ned Price, spokesperson of the United States Department of State, is a Twitter influencer at the exalted “celebrity/macro” rank. So, even though it was well after working hours on Friday evening, May 20, 2022 — as Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepared for President Biden’s first presidential trip to Asia — Ned Price was sure of an audience as he “tweeted” the following message: “The PRC continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy. The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act,
An April circular by the Chinese Ministry of Education on student admission criteria at Tibetan universities has been harrowing and discriminating to say the least. The circular said that prospective students must state their “political attitude and ideological morality” to be considered for admission. It also said that students should not be involved in religious movements and students who are proficient in Marxist theory should be preferred. Since Beijing started occupying Tibet, it has meticulously introduced policies to dismantle the Tibetan education system, which is closely tied to its rich monastic tradition, and has even pulled students from Afghanistan and eastern