Labor shortage in Taiwan tops 230,000

Taipei--Taiwan's workforce shortage was more than 230,000 at the end of February as the domestic economy continued on the path to recovery, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

In the non-farm sector, the labor shortage was 233,000 workers, an increase of 25,000 from the end of August 2016 and 28,000 from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

It said the job vacancy rate in the non-farm sector was 3.01 percent as of the end of February, up 0.31 percentage points from the end of last August and 0.32 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

The latest data from the DGBAS, one of its biannual updates on the labor market in Taiwan's industrial and service sectors, reflected a drop in the country's unemployment rate amid a recovery of the domestic economy. Taiwan's economy is forecast to grow 2.05 percent in 2017, compared with 1.50 percent in 2016.

On May 22, the DGBAS reported that Taiwan's jobless rate had dipped to 3.67 percent in April, the lowest level since May 2015, when it stood at 3.62 percent.

However, the DGBAS said, the growing labor shortage was due in part to the government's introduction of new labor regulations that reduced the maximum number of work hours from 84 per fortnight to 40 per week, with one mandatory day off and one flexible rest day each week.

The manufacturing sector accounted for the biggest labor shortage of about 88,000 workers in the non-farm sector, or 37.9 percent of the total; followed by the retail/wholesale segment with a shortage of 43,000 workers, or 18.5 percent of the total; and the hospitability/food/beverage sector with 18,000, or 7.5 percent of the total, the DGBAS said.

In the electronics component business, the labor shortage was about 19,000 workers as of the end of February, the biggest number in the manufacturing sector, while in the production business it was 10,000, and in the machinery industry 8,000, according the DGBAS data.

In terms of the vacancy rate, the drug/medical product business reported the highest level of 3.77 percent in the local manufacturing sector, the DGBAS said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel