Number of furloughed workers rises as manufacturing orders shrink

12/01/2022 06:32 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) The number of workers on official furlough programs in Taiwan rose by more than 500 over the past week as more export-oriented manufacturers introduced unpaid leave programs due to declining orders amid weakening global demand, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Thursday.

The number of workers on furlough programs reported to the ministry rose from 17,646 on Nov. 24 to 18,163, while the number of companies with unpaid leave programs rose by 40 to 2,698, MOL data showed.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said the manufacturing sector saw a surge in the number of furloughed workers over the past week.

One manufacturer in the metal electromechanical component industry placed around 50 workers on unpaid leave over the past week, while one in the textile sector reported another 60 furloughed workers due to a decline in global orders, according to Huang.

Noting that the export-oriented manufacturing sector is experiencing a global economic downturn, Huang said that the ministry will transfer information on the impact of the external environment on manufacturing to the Ministry of Economic Affairs for its assistance.

● Industrial production dips for second straight month

● Taiwan's export orders in October drop amid sluggish global economy

The MOL said the number of furloughed workers in the support services industry, which is largely comprised of travel agencies, increased by 246 to 7,772 in the week, while the number of employers in the industry with furlough programs in place also rose by 14 to 1,444.

However, most employers in the support services industry said they will end their furlough programs by the end of this year.

That decision is based on anticipated increasing demand driven by the government's announcement that it will remove the current weekly cap on the number of visitors from abroad on Dec. 10, as COVID-19 cases in the country are now under control, and the upcoming 2023 Chinese New Year holiday, according to Huang.

A major downturn in the number of furloughed workers is expected in January 2023 as domestic demand recovers, according to Huang.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Evelyn Kao)

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