Taiwan's jobless rate falls for 2nd straight month
Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's jobless rate for August moved lower from a month earlier, marking the second consecutive month-on-month decline, as the impact from an outbreak of domestically transmitted COVID-19 subsides, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.
The acceleration of local economic recovery amid the easing of the COVID-19 surge offset the increase in first-time jobseekers in August, when new graduates jumped into the job market, the DGBAS said.
Data compiled by the DGBAS showed the local unemployment rate fell 0.29 percentage points from a month earlier to 4.24 percent in August. In addition, after seasonal adjustments, the August figure fell by 0.28 percentage points from July to 4.08 percent, the data indicated.
In August, the number of unemployed stood at 505,000, down 34,000 or 6.31 percent from a month earlier, while the number of employed rose 35,000 or 0.31 percent from July to about 11.40 million, the DGBAS said.
The labor participation rate rose 0.03 percentage points from a month earlier to hit 58.98 percent in August, the DGBAS added.
In the first eight months of the year, Taiwan's jobless rate averaged 4.04 percent, up 0.15 percentage points from a year earlier with the labor participation rate at 59.01 percent, down 0.13 percentage points from a year earlier, according to the DGBAS.
Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said with concerns over the spread of COVID-19 reduced, the government has eased restrictions on the movement of people and local business activity has picked up, strengthening the job market and pushing down unemployment in August despite the increase in first-time jobseekers.
Chen said domestic demand oriented sectors such as lodging, food/beverage, retail and wholesale, education and entertainment showed signs of an increase in demand for manpower.
The number of employees in the lodging and food/beverage industry rose 10,000 from a month earlier in August, and the number in the retail and wholesale industry grew 8,000, Chen said
According to the DGBAS, the number of those who lost their jobs due to business downsizing or closures fell 32,000 from a month earlier in August, while the number of first time jobseekers rose 3,000 from July.
In addition, the number of those who worked less than 35 hours a week, referring to underemployment, also fell sharply from 937,000 in July to 488,000 in August as business activity grew, the DGBAS said.
In August, the unemployment rate among people with a university degree was 5.73 percent, the highest among all education groups, according to the DGBAS.
Those with a senior high school and junior high school education reported 4.15 percent and 3.35 percent unemployment, respectively, in August, DGBAS figures showed.
The August unemployment rate for individuals aged 20-24 was 13.38 percent, the majority of whom were first-time jobseekers, while the jobless rate was 8.84 percent for people aged 15-19, and 6.81 percent for the 25-29 age group, the data indicated.
Looking ahead, Chen said, at a time when more and more new graduates are expected to find work and the COVID-19 situation continues to ease, the local job market should keep improving in September.
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