Economic gains keep unemployment rate on decline

Employment rose with 3,000 new jobs while services and industry grew, as the economy recovers from last year’s local COVID-19 outbreak

The nation’s unemployment rate last month fell for the sixth consecutive month, shedding 0.02 percentage points to 3.64 percent, as business activity continued to improve, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said on Saturday.

After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate stood at 3.72 percent, up 0.01 percentage points from November, DGBAS data showed.

Last month, the number of people who lost their jobs fell by 3,000, or 0.66 percent, from a month earlier to 433,000, while the number of employed people rose by 3,000, or 0.03 percent, to 11.48 million, with the labor participation rate at 59.16 percent, up 0.05 percentage points month-on-month, the DGBAS said.

Photo: CNA

As the spread of COVID-19 eased, the number of people who lost their jobs due to business downsizing or closures fell by 2,000 from a month earlier, it said.

Taiwan’s unemployment rate averaged 3.95 percent last year, up 0.10 percentage points year-on-year as a domestic COVID-19 outbreak in May last year affected the labor market, the DGBAS said.

The number of unemployed people averaged 471,000 monthly, down 11,000, or 2.39 percent, from a year earlier, it said.

The labor participation rate averaged 59.02 percent last year, down 0.12 percentage points year-on-year, the DGBAS said.

Last month, the number of people employed in the industrial and service sectors rose 0.08 percent and 0.03 percent respectively from a month earlier, while the number of people employed in the agricultural sector fell 0.41 percent, the data showed.

The service sector last year accounted for 59.81 percent of employed people in Taiwan, the DGBAS said.

Over the past decade, the ratio of people employed in the service sector to the total number of employed rose 1.21 percentage points, but the ratio of those employed in industrial and agricultural sectors fell 0.89 percentage points and 0.33 percentage points respectively.

The unemployment rate among those with university degrees stood at 5.49 percent last year, the highest among all education groups, while the figure for individuals with a junior or senior-high school education was 2.97 percent and 3.77 percent respectively, DGBAS figures showed.

The unemployment rate for people aged 20 to 24 was 12.52 percent last year, the majority of whom were first-time jobseekers. The rate was 6.59 percent for people aged 25 to 29, and 8.73 percent for the 15 to 19 age group, the data showed.

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