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Nearly 2 million women not in labor force for family reasons

2018/12/16 17:00:21

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Amid a looming manpower shortage in Taiwan due to a rapidly aging population, nearly 2 million women are not in the labor force for family reasons, according to a recent report from this year's manpower utilization survey.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) conducts the manpower utilization survey each May to exclude the seasonal effects of the graduation season and the lunar New Year.

According to the report, the number of people aged 15-64 not in the labor force had reached 5.24 million in May, with home responsibilities the main reason cited for not working by nearly 2.04 million people, followed by "attending school or preparing for entrance exams," cited by nearly 2.03 million people.

Meanwhile, 50,000 people cited "old age, physical or mental challenges" as reasons for not working.

Among the nearly 2.04 million people who were not in the work force for family reasons, 1.98 million were women, the report shows.

Meanwhile, according to a population report by the National Development Council, after Taiwan's working age population (aged 15-64) reached its peak in 2015 and started shrinking gradually in 2016, the country will lose its demographic dividend in 2027, when its working age population is expected to account for less than 66.7 percent of the total.

Therefore, how to encourage more people, particularly stay-at-home women, to join the labor market to boost the labor participation rate is an urgent issue that is a priority for the government, according to Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆), an associate professor at National Taiwan University's Graduate Institute of National Development.

To boost women's workforce participation, the Ministry of Labor should coordinate with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Welfare to devise policies that will help stay-at-home women to cope with the problems of raising children, caring for the elderly or people with disabilities or illness, and encourage them to take part-time jobs, Hsin suggested.

(By Pan Tzi-yu and Evelyn Kao)
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