Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) The spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in China has had a heavy impact on prospects in the Chinese employment market and has seriously eroded the willingness of Taiwanese people to consider taking up employment there, a job bank has found.
According to a statement issued by 104 job bank on Monday, the percentage of Taiwanese people working in China who were mulling a return to Taiwan has increased by 13 percentage points since a lockdown was imposed on the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province on Jan. 23 before the Year of the Rat started on Jan. 25.
With Wuhan and various other Chinese cities under lockdown due to the fast spread of the epidemic since then, many Chinese businesses have postponed their reopening following the Lunar New Year holiday and some have delayed their recruitment drives.
This has seriously affected the mood of many Taiwanese, regardless of whether they are already working in China but hope to find a new job there or whether they are thinking about moving to to China to seek employment, the job bank said.
During the Jan.10-Feb. 8 period, an average of 912 Taiwanese people working in China who were considering changing jobs sent their resumes to the bank per day, it said.
According to the bank, half of them had shown a desire to continue staying in China in the two weeks before the Jan. 23 Wuhan lockdown, while the other half said they were planning to leave.
However, the ratio of those who did not want to stay rose to 63 percent two weeks after the Wuhan lockdown, compared to 37 percent still willing to return to the country, it said.
Of those desiring to leave China, more than 90 percent wanted to return to Taiwan, with the rest expressing interest in relocating to Southeast Asia, Europe, the United States, Canada and Northeast Asia, according to the statement.
According to 104 job bank tallies, law and accounting consulting and R&D positions in China have seen the largest fall -- 19 percentage points -- in applications from Taiwanese job seekers since the Lunar New Year period.
China's retail sector has suffered a decline of 16 percentage points, while its service, manufacturing and electronics/computer sectors have also received fewer Taiwanese applicants, the same tallies show.
104 Senior Vice President Jason Chin (晉麗明) said the lockdowns in China have had a huge impact on Taiwanese people and has slashed their willingness to continue to work in China or move there to find a job.
The spread of the epidemic, which has shown no signs of abating, has triggered a sense of deep insecurity among Taiwanese people who need to work in China, Chin said.
He predicted that more and more Taiwanese skilled workers and professionals will relocate to Southeast Asia or return to Taiwan, seeking new horizons in other parts of the world as China loses its luster as the world's biggest manufacturer.