Employment up for 6th straight month as economy stabilizes
Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) The number of people employed in Taiwan's industrial and service sectors rose for the sixth consecutive month in November as the local economy stabilized, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Monday.
The DGBAS said the increase also came as traditionally strong export demand in the fourth quarter boosted the need for manpower in the tech industry in November, and rising consumption helped the service sector, paving the way for more hiring.
The number of employees in the country's industrial and service sector at the end of November rose 18,000, or 0.21 percent, from a month earlier to about 7.98 million, DGBAS figures showed.
That beat new employee growth in the same month over the past five years, when the month-on-month increase in November ranged from 12,000 to 17,000 people, the DGBAS said.
Taiwan's nominal unemployment rate was 3.75 percent in November, down from 3.80 percent a month earlier, but it was unchanged from the previous month at 3.77 percent after seasonal adjustments, according to DGBAS figures released in late December.
Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said that after Taiwan eased its COVID-19 restrictions on businesses in June 2020, the economy gradually turned stable and the job market in both the industrial and service sectors regained momentum.
According to the DGBAS, Taiwanese manufacturers as a whole had 7,000 more employees at the end of November than at the end of October to support higher shipments to global markets ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Another 3,000 jobs were also added in the wholesale and retail sector from a month earlier, and another 2,000 were added in the lodging and food/beverage business, the DGBAS said.
Employment in the two broad sectors has still not returned to the level seen before the COVID-19 pandemic began, with the total number of employees down 37,000 from the end of 2019.
Employment in manufacturing in the first 11 months of 2020 was down 13,000 from a year earlier, with a gain of 4,000 employees in the computer and optoelectronics industries offset by falls of 6,000 and 5,000 employees respectively in the machinery and textile industries, the DGBAS said.
For the lodging and food/beverage industry, the number of employees during the period were down 27,000 from a year earlier, Chen said, but employment in the wholesale and retail sectors were back to pre-pandemic levels.
Despite the positive recent trends, Chen warned that there was still uncertainty in Taiwan's job market because of sharp rises in COVID-19 infections in many other areas around the world.
Meanwhile, the DGBAS said the average monthly regular wage in the industrial and service sectors rose 1.51 percent from a year earlier to NT$42,458 (US$1,489) in the first 11 months of 2020.
Average monthly earnings, which are comprised of regular wages and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, grew 1.46 percent to NT$54,380 in the 11-month period, the data showed.
After adjusting for inflation, the DGBAS said, the average regular wage rose 1.78 percent from a year earlier for the 11-month period, while average monthly earnings grew 1.73 percent.
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