2012 unemployment hit 4.24%, lowest in 3 years
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Unemployment among the young and the educated is on the rise in Taiwan despite improvements in overall unemployment figures, according to government statistics released yesterday.
January 23, 2013, 4:26 pm TWN
In December the unemployment rate stood at 4.18 percent, representing an improvement of 0.09 percent month on month, while the average jobless rate for 2012 declined by 0.15 percent to 4.24 percent, the lowest since the 2008 global financial crisis.
However, in contrast to the past two years' improvements of 0.6 and 0.8 percent, the pace of job growth has slowed.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計處) cited uncertainties in the global economy, the lackluster recovery of the past year and the hesitation of employers to create jobs as the major contributors to unemployment.
Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 for last year was 12.66 percent, up 0.19 percent year on year, while unemployment among those holding junior college or trade school certifications rose by 0.07 percent.
The DGBAS said that the rise in youth unemployment last year was mostly due to the slower pace of economic recovery last year, as employers cut down on hired positions in anticipation of lower revenues, which has the largest impact on youths first entering the workforce.
Nantou County (南投縣) had the highest unemployment rate in Taiwan last year at 4.4 percent, while Hsinchu County had the lowest unemployment rate at 4 percent. The DGBAS explained that Hsinchu benefits from its Science and Technology Industrial Park, with its large concentration of high-tech employers, while Nantou suffers from the disadvantage of being situated in a rural area, as reflected in its higher unemployment rate.
Statistics show that unemployed people numbered 477,000 last December. The number of incidents of structural unemployment declined by 4,000 people, while incidents of cyclical unemployment declined by 2,000 people.
Wages on the Decline
Wages averaged NT$45,721 in the first 11 months of last year, a decline of 1.98 percent year on year. This ended the upward trend of 4.52 and 1.33 percent in compensations during the past two years, according to the DGBAS.
The DGBAS cited the reluctance of employers to pay out bonuses in the face of adversity as the main reason for the recent decline in compensations.