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Annual jobless rate falls to 18-year low in 2018

2019/01/22 21:42:45

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) The annual unemployment rate in Taiwan fell to the lowest in 18 years, with the economic slowdown so far not impacting the local job market, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Tuesday.

Data compiled by the DGBAS shows the unemployment rate in 2018 stood at 3.71 percent, the lowest since 2000, when the figure was 2.99 percent.

The 2018 jobless rate was down 0.05 percentage points from a year earlier, the data indicated.

Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, told the press that while the economy shows signs of slowing, the local job market remains stable and has not been impacted by the weakening economy.

At the end of November, the DGBAS cut its estimate for Taiwan's GDP growth in 2018 by 0.03 percentage points from an August forecast of 2.66 percent and downgraded its forecast for 2019 by 0.14 percentage points to 2.41 percent, citing negative external factors such as trade tension between the United States and China.

In 2018, the labor participation rate stood at 58.99 percent, up 0.16 percentage points from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

According to the DGBAS, the average jobless rate in northern, central and southern Taiwan was 3.7 percent in 2018, while unemployment in the east stood at 3.5 percent.

In December, Taiwan's jobless rate fell 0.04 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.66 percent, while after seasonal adjustments the figure was up 0.01 percentage points at 3.70 percent.

From September 2017 to December 2018, the monthly seasonally-adjusted jobless rate ranged from 3.67 percent to 3.70 percent, providing additional evidence of the stable job market in Taiwan, Pan said.

Last month, the number of those classified as unemployed fell 5,000 or 1.09 percent from a month earlier to 436,000, while the number in employment rose 6,000 or 0.05 percent to 11.48 million, with the labor participation rate down 0.02 percentage points at 59.09 percent, the DGBAS said.

The number of first time jobseekers fell 2,000 from a month earlier in December, and the number out of a job due to termination of seasonal and temporary job contracts also fell 1,000, the data showed.

However, the number of those who lost jobs due to business closures or downsizing rose 1,000 from a month earlier in December, the data indicated.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)