Number of furloughed workers in Taiwan tops 20,000

06/24/2022 05:19 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) The number of workers on unpaid leave in Taiwan breached the 20,000 mark over the past week, with the increase attributed in large part to a downturn in the food, beverage and lodging sector, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Friday.

Data released by the MOL showed the number of workers enrolled in furlough programs continued to swell across Taiwan, hitting 20,839, a 1,355 rise from the previous report released on June 16.

The number of companies with furlough programs in place also rose by 183 from a week earlier to 2,912.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, told CNA that 900 workers from the food, beverage and lodging sector were furloughed over the past week.

This meant that those on unpaid leave in the sector reached a new high for 2022 of 5,589 with Huang attributing the rise to consumers continuing to forgo travel and dining out amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.

However, Huang said he expects the situation to improve following the government's decision to ease border restrictions on June 15, with a maximum of 25,000 weekly arrivals now permitted to enter Taiwan.

With the summer vacation looming and more incentives for domestic travel set to begin around mid-July, Huang said he anticipates "positive developments."

The MOL updates its furloughed worker data on the 1st, 8th, 16th, and 24th of every month, reporting unpaid leave numbers for companies that have registered their furlough programs with the ministry.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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