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Number of furloughed workers in Taiwan up

2016/08/01 17:03

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) The number of workers on unpaid leave in Taiwan in the second half of July increased from the first two weeks as the local economy remained slow, government statistics showed Monday.

As of the end of July, there were 524 workers on furlough, compared with 402 as of July 15, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said.

The number of employers who had unpaid leave programs in place as of July 31 was 23, a slight increase from 21 in the first half of the month, the MOL said.

In the last two weeks of the month, three employers terminated their unpaid leave programs, but five others initiated furloughs, the MOL said.

Most of the companies that had employees on unpaid leave were small enterprises in the metal and electromechanical industries with a workforce of fewer than 50 employees, according to the MOL data.

Affected by the economic slowdown, those employers have been asking their workers to take one to four days of unpaid leave per month for a period of up to three months, the ministry said.

It said the government has implemented a NT$20 billion (US$632 million) program to offer training to affected employees to upgrade their job skills.

Under the program, the trainees receive a stipend of NT$100 per hour to help meet their living expenses, up to a maximum of NT$12,000 per month, the ministry said.

Twice a month, the government releases data on furloughs to give an update on the situation in the local labor market, particularly in light of Taiwan's declining exports amid weak global demand.

The local economy grew 0.69 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, ending a three quarter streak of contraction.

While the second quarter domestic economic growth beat an earlier government estimate of a 0.48 percent increase, the pace of recovery remained slow, economists said.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Frances Huang)Enditem/pc