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Jobless rate dips to 24-year low for April on strong domestic demand

05/22/2024 09:07 PM
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A store in Kaohsiung displays a hiring ad in this photo taken on Wednesday. CNA photo May 22, 2024
A store in Kaohsiung displays a hiring ad in this photo taken on Wednesday. CNA photo May 22, 2024

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) The latest local jobless rate dipped to the lowest ever for April in 24 years and marked the second consecutive month-on-month decline at a time when domestic demand remained solid in the post COVID-19 era, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed the unemployment rate fell 0.02 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.36 percent in April, the lowest April level since 2000, when the jobless rate stood at 2.73 percent.

After seasonal adjustments, the April jobless rate also fell 0.01 percentage points from March to 3.39 percent, the data indicated.

In the first four months of this year, the local unemployment rate fell 0.16 percentage points from a year earlier to 3.36 percent, according to the DGBAS.

In April, the number of unemployed fell 2,000 or 0.56 percent from a month earlier to 403,000, while the number of employed dropped 2,000 or 0.02 percent to 11.58 million with the labor participation rate at 59.21 percent, down 0.03 percentage points from a month earlier.

Speaking with reporters, Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS' Census Department, said the fall in the April jobless rate largely came as domestic demand-oriented industry continued to improve on the back of solid post COVID-19 consumption.

The latest unemployment data showed Taiwan still continues to have a stable job market, Chen said.

The DGBAS said the number of first-time jobseekers fell 2,000 from a month earlier in April, while the number of those who were unhappy with their original jobs and quit also fell 1,000.

However, the number who lost jobs due to business closures and downsizing rose 2,000 from a month earlier to 101,000 in April, the DGBAS said.

Despite the increase in the number of jobless due to business closures and downsizing, Chen said the change in the number remained minor, adding that the figure still came below the average of 105,000 in the pre-COVID-19 period.

Due to the strong domestic-oriented demand sector, Chen said the number of employed in the lodging and food/beverage industry moved higher from a month earlier in April, marking the 20th consecutive monthly increase.

The number in the industry rose about 62,000 during that 20-month period, reflecting the continued recovery in the domestic demand oriented sector.

The retail and wholesale industry reported the largest reduction of 3,000 in unemployed people among major industries in Taiwan from March to April, Chen said, citing an increase in temporary employment contract terminations after the Tomb Sweeping Festival holiday.

By education, the unemployment rate among those with a university degree was 4.46 percent in April, the highest among all educational levels.

The rate for individuals with a senior high or junior high school education were 3.27 percent and 2.13 percent, respectively, in April, according to DGBAS figures.

By age, the unemployment rate for those aged 20-24 in April was 11.36 percent because of the high concentration of first-time jobseekers in the age group, but was only 5.79 percent for those aged 25-29, the data showed.

In addition, the jobless rate for those aged 15-19 was 8.20 percent in April, the DGBAS said.

The jobless data came after the DGBAS used the week ending April 20 as a reference week to collect employment information.

Meanwhile, the DGBAS also released data showing the jobless rate stood at 3.38 percent in April, down 0.11 percentage points from a month earlier, as it used information collected during the four weeks ending in the reference week of April 20 as suggested by the International Labor Organization.

Due to the higher number of the days to collect employment data, the four week period yielded a higher jobless rate, the DGBAS said, adding some countries such as the United States employ a four week formula.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)


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