Employment number in manufacturing sector down amid COVID-19

10/15/2020 11:34 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to cost jobs in Taiwan's manufacturing sector, which saw the number of people employed at the end of August falling about 4,000 from a month earlier, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Thursday.

Data compiled by the DGBAS said the employment number in the manufacturing sector bucked the slight upturn posted by the industrial and service sectors as a whole during the same period.

Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, told reporters that old economy industries, which make up part of the manufacturing sector, suffered more impact resulting from COVID-19, because the pandemic negatively affected global demand and sent product prices down, at a time of falling crude oil prices.

As a result, the DGBAS said, the number of people hired by the textile industry fell 1,000 from a month earlier at the end of August, while the number of people employed by metal and machinery makers also dropped 1,000 and 400, respectively.

At the end of August, the number of people employed in the industrial and service sectors totaled 7.951 million, up 2,000 or 0.02 percent from a month earlier, marking the third consecutive month of growth, the DGBAS said.

Chen said the increase came after the service sector, which focuses on domestic demand, added jobs on the back of Taiwan's better efforts to combat COVID-19, boosting its employment number by 8,000 from a month earlier.

At the end of August, the number of people employed in the hospitality and food/beverage industry rose 2,000 from a month earlier, and the number employed in the retail industry also grew by 400, the DGBAS said.

But the figure at the end of August was still down 68,000 from the end of December before the coronavirus started to have an impact on the local job mraket, according to the DGBAS.

In the first eight months of this year, the number of people employed in the industrial and service sectors hit 7.946 million, down 2,000 or 0.02 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

The data also indicated the employment number in the industrial sector dropped 0.09 percent from a year earlier, while the number in the service sector rose 0.04 percent.

Meanwhile, the DGBAS said the average monthly regular wage in the industrial and service sectors rose 0.35 percent from a month earlier to NT$42,636 (US$1,470) in August. The August figure was also up 1.27 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

In August, the average earned income, which is comprised of regular wages and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, hit NT$50,866, down 8.05 percent from a month earlier and also down 0.18 percent from a year earlier.

In the first eight months of this year, the average monthly regular wage rose 1.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$42,346, and average earned income also grew 1.26 percent to NT$56,395, the data indicated.

After inflationary adjustments, however, the average monthly regular wage for the seven months rose 1.69 percent from a year earlier and the average earned income grew 1.53 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

In the eight-month period, the local consumer price index fell 0.27 percent from a year earlier.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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