Taipei, Nov. 23, 2012 (CENS)--At odds with past trend, Taiwan's unemployment rate inched up 0.01 of a percentage point to 4.33% in October, underscoring a languid job market, reported the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday (Nov. 22).
One main reason for the abnormal phenomenon is continuing increase of unemployed population resulting from business contraction and closure, whose number topped 141,000 in the month, up 3,000 from the previous month.
Chen Min, an official of the DGBAS, remarked that failure of the unemployment rate to drop in October underscores persistent business slowdown, which put a damper on the job market.
Affected by the entry of massive number of new graduates into the job market, Taiwan's unemployment rate typically peaks in August before declining in subsequent months. The unemployment rate would usually pick up again after Chinese Lunar New Year, as many people seek to switch jobs. Over the past 12 years, there were only three years when unemployment rate in October was higher than September, including 2001, due to busting of Internet bubble, 2008, due to the global financial tsunami, and 2011, due to the European-debt crisis.
Chen Min pointed out that over the past several months, growing numbers of local people have joined the ranks of unemployed population. The DGBAS survey shows that unemployed people resulting from business contraction or closure began to appear in July, when the number of such people increased by 1,000. The scale of increase reached 3,000 in August, 1,000 in September, and 3,000 in October.
The unemployment population in the first 10 months this year hit 480,000, with the average unemployment rate reaching 4.24%, higher than Hong Kong's 3.3% and South Korea's 3.2%. In the first 10 month, average employed population numbered 10,847 million on average, up 155,000, or 1.45%, over the same period last year. The increased rate was the lowest during the period in the recent three years.
The DGBAS also reported yesterday that during the first nine months this year, after excluding the inflationary factor, the actual average pay of local salaried workers amounted to NT$43,113, lower than NT$43,159 of 14 years ago, in 1998. The actual average pay was 2% lower than a year earlier, due to reduced payout of year-end and performance bonus amid the business slowdown and 1.97% increase of consumer price index, a three-year high.
(by Philip Liu)