Layoffs, redundancies reach 3-year high
By Ted Chen , The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Amid the persistence of discouraging economic prospects, layoffs and involuntary terminations in the work force reached a three-year high of 5.4 percent in 2012, a governing body announced yesterday.
October 1, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
According to findings published yesterday by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計處), 1.809 million out of the 6.965 million individuals employed in 2012 left their jobs.
The governing body found that a majority of 85.7 percent of workers left their posts by choice. In addition, the number of workers who left their jobs in 2012 declined 2.8 percent from the preceding year.
However, workers who were laid off or made redundant last year reached 5.4 percent, exceeding the figures of 4.1 and 3.5 percent recorded in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
The DGBAS stated that layoffs were most severe during the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, reaching 11.5 percent. Just prior to the onset of the global financial crisis, the figure stood at 5.5 percent in 2007 and jumped to 8.8 percent in 2008.
Most notably, up to 5.2 percent of workers who left their jobs last year were compelled to do so by growing concerns over changing retirement and pension schemes up by 2 percent from the 3.2 percent recorded in 2011. The DBGAS noted that individuals in this category may still be included in the work force as they seek alternative employment. Some of these individuals chose to retire early because of fear of reduced benefits and other underlying financial burdens following proposed changes to the national pension scheme.
In 2012, over 94,000 workers entered retirement, far exceeding the 61,000 who did so in 2011, and just under the 2008 high of 97,000, during the global financial crisis.
In the same study, the DGBAS found that under the influences of changing pension schemes and increasing life expectancy, average retirement age has trended upwards, rising from an average age of 54.9 in 2005 to 57.9 in 2012. The DGBAS attributed this increase in the average retirement age to pension policies enacted in 2005 which stipulated that monthly pension payments may only be rendered for retirees aged 60 and up.