Island's workforce to shrink due to low birth rates: gov't
CNATAIPEI -- An extremely low birth rate means Taiwan will face a shrinking workforce in coming years, while four in every 10 people will be age 65 or older by the year 2060, according to a report of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD).
September 24, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
The working population (age 15-64), which reached a high of over 17.3 million, will start to decline from 2015, the CEPD reported.
The old-age dependency ratio, which measures the ratio of those who are not in the labor force to those who are, looks ready to surpass the young-age dependency ratio by 2016, meaning unemployed elderly will outnumber unemployed youth.
Last year, the old-age ratio climbed to 15 percent, nearing the young-age ratio, which fell to 19.7 percent.
Taiwan also recorded lower labor participation rates — the number of people in the labor force compared to the overall population — than most other major Asian economies for two demographics: men aged 24 and younger and men aged 45 and older.
The figures indicate that Taiwanese workers are entering the job market late and retiring early, which will likely exacerbate the burden of an aging population on a dwindling work force.
After hearing the report, Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo said the shifts will have a long-term impact on people's working and living conditions.
He asked the CEPD to consult with other agencies to gather expert opinions on how to meet the challenges of a changing population demographic.