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Manufacturing sector accounts for majority of furloughed workers

09/25/2023 07:47 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) The local manufacturing sector continued to account for the majority of furloughed workers in Taiwan over the past week as the export-oriented sector remained roiled by weakening global demand, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Monday.

Data compiled by the MOL showed the number of furloughed workers on formal unpaid leave programs rose to 11,877 as of Sept. 23, up 139 from 11,738 registered on Sept. 15, while the number of employers who launched furlough programs also moved higher by 21 to 663 in the week.

In the week, the number of furloughed workers in the local manufacturing sector hit 9,883, accounting for more than 83 percent of the country's total, the data indicated.

Li Yi-hsuan (李怡萱), a specialist with the MOL's Labor Conditions and Equal Employment Division, told reporters that a pneumatic tool supplier reported to the ministry that it placed about 170 workers on furlough in the week due to a fall in overseas orders.

The pneumatic tool supplier belongs to the metal and electric machinery industry, where a total of 5,975 workers were put on unpaid leave programs in the week, the MOF data showed.

On the other hand, a machine tool maker in the metal and machinery industry in central Taiwan ended its furlough plan by restoring more than 100 workers back to full production, though it was unclear whether the company will resume its furlough program as such a decision is entirely based on the export orders it receives, Li said.

In the chemical industry, where a total of 1,021 workers were placed on furlough, a sticker printing company terminated its furlough program by sending 162 employees back to work, Li said, adding it will has no plan to resume its unpaid leave plan.

The MOL will convey the furlough programs in the manufacturing sector to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) so the MOEA has a better understanding of employment conditions in the sector and can provide necessary assistance, Li said.

The service sector continued to report smaller fluctuations in furloughed workers in the week at a time of solid domestic spending in the post COVID-19 era, Li added.

As of Sept. 23, the number of furloughed workers in the retail/wholesale industry rose from 941 as of Sept. 15, to 1,034 while the number in the lodging and food/beverage industry remained unchanged at 75 in the week, the MOL data showed.

The support service industry, which is comprised of travel agencies, reported 520 furloughed workers as of Sept. 23, up from 497 a week earlier, the data indicated.

The ministry updates its furloughed worker data on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 24th of every month, and reports the number of employees placed on furlough by companies registered with the MOL.

Most of the enterprises implementing furlough programs are small firms that employ fewer than 50 people.

Unpaid leave programs typically last for less than three months, with employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, according to the MOL.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Frances Huang)


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