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February jobless rate remains stable at 3.7%

2018/03/22 22:04:05

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Taiwan's unemployment rate stood at 3.7 percent in February, up 0.07 percentage points from the previous month but down 0.15 percentage points year-on-year, according to government statistics released Thursday.

The number of unemployed in February increased by 8,000 from a month earlier to 438,000 due mainly to an increase in the number of employees changing jobs around the Chinese New Year holiday from Feb. 15-20, according to data released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The figure was down 15,000 from a year earlier, the DGBAS data showed.

After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate for February remained 3.7 percent, up 0.02 points from January, according to the DGBAS.

The DGBAS said that the 3.7 percent jobless rate in February was the second lowest for the month in recent years, higher than 3.69 percent in 2015, but lower than 3.73 percent in 2001.

Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS' census department, said the rise in February unemployment resulted from the seasonality factor of the Lunar New Year holiday, which is considered a prime time to change jobs.

For January and February, the monthly number of unemployed averaged 434,000, a decrease of 15,000 for the same two-month period last year, Pan said, adding that the jobless rate in March is expected to drop further given the current stable job market.

For the first two months of the year, the average unemployment rate was 3.67 percent, down 0.15 percentage points from a year ago, the lowest for that period since 2002.

The number of people employed in the two-month period has also grown for three consecutive years, increasing by 78,000 year-on-year in 2016, 76,000 in 2017 and 89,000 in 2018, showing that the economy is on the path to recovery, according to Pan.

The labor participation rate for February was 58.88 percent, down 0.03 percent from a month earlier but up 0.13 percentage points from a year earlier.

For January and February, the average labor participation rate was 58.89 percent, up 0.12 percentage points from a year earlier.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Evelyn Kao)
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