Unemployment hits 6-year low, earnings down to 16-year low
By Kathryn Chiu, The China Post
June 24, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The unemployment rate in May fell to a six-year low at 3.85 percent, while real average earnings based on 2011 prices was NT$52,087, hitting a 16-year low in April despite an annual rise of 3.68 percent.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) on Monday said that Taiwan's unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 72 months in May at 3.85 percent thanks to job increases amid a recovery in the economy.
The figure represents a decrease of 0.06 percentage points from April and a drop of 0.21 points from the same month last year. After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate for May stood at 3.99 percent, 0.05 points lower than April.
For the first five months of the year, unemployment averaged 3.98 percent, down 0.16 percentage points from the same period last year.
According to the Central News Agency, the DGBAS attributed the drop to an improvement in the economy, leading employers to provide more job openings than last year.
In May, the jobless population decreased by 6,000 from the previous month to 443,000, with unemployed first-time jobseekers down by 5,000. The number of people who lost their jobs due to business closures or downsizing fell by 3,000, and those who quit because they were unhappy with their jobs increased by 2,000.
Job-searching Gets Less Painful
On average, jobseekers spent 26.2 weeks before finding a job in May, 0.1 weeks shorter than in April. The search period was 32.7 weeks among first-time jobseekers, 1.9 weeks shorter than in April.
Meanwhile, the jobless rate among people with a university degree or higher dropped to 4.7 percent, the lowest level since July 2008, another sign that job market has improved significantly, the DGBAS said.
The DGBAS yesterday indicated that the average regular earnings per employee in the industry and service sector in April was NT$38,061, increasing by 0.29 percent over last month and a hike of 1.55 percent from the same month last year. Average monthly earnings — including regular and irregular earnings — in April was NT$42,361, a 0.82-percent decrease and 1.6-percent increase respectively when compared with last month and a year ago.
Together with regular and irregular earnings, the average monthly earnings since January 2014 was NT$53,769, increased by 4.73 percent than the same period of last year.
Based on the consumer price index increase of 1.01 percent, the real average earnings based on 2011 prices was NT$52,087 in April, rising by 3.68 percent than last year. The figure stayed leveled in 16-year low. In April, the total nonagricultural payroll employment reached 7,227 thousand, increasing by 11,000 or 0.16 percent than last month.
Concurrently, the average employment since January was 7,214 thousand, increased by 123 thousand or 1.73 percent than the same period of last year.