Taiwan February jobless rate up slightly

Taiwan's jobless rate rose slightly in February as some temporary jobs related to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday came to an end and job changes in the post-holiday period increased, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Thursday.

DGBAS data showed that the jobless rate edged up by 0.04 percentage points in February from a month earlier to 3.65 percent.

However, after making seasonal adjustments, the country's unemployment rate was 3.67 percent in February, down by 0.03 percentage points from January, according to the DGBAS data.

Both the February jobless rates before and after making seasonal adjustments were the lowest for the month in nearly 22 years, showing signs of a stable job market, said Chen Hui-hsin (???), deputy director of the DGBAS' Department of Census.

In February, 434,000 people were out of work, up by 4,000, or 0.98 percent, from a month earlier, with the number of those who lost their jobs due to job dissatisfaction and the end of seasonal or temporary jobs rising by 3,000 and 2,000, respectively, from a month earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of employed workers was 11.458 million, a fall of 16,000, or 0.14 percent, from January, and a decrease of 56,000, or 0.49 percent, from a year earlier.

The labor participation rate in February averaged 59.17 percent, which was unchanged from the month before, the DGBAS said.

Last month, the number of people employed in the industrial sector fell by 0.28 percent, from a month earlier, while those in the agricultural and service sectors fell by 0.53 percent and 0.03 percent, respectively, the data showed.

The unemployment rate for people with a university degree stood at 5.18 percent in February, the highest among all education groups, according to DGBAS figures.

The jobless rate for people with a senior high school diploma was 3.39 percent while the jobless rate for those with graduate school degrees was 2.70 percent, respectively, DGBAS figures showed.

By age, the unemployment rate for those aged 20-24 in 2021 was 12.47 percent, the majority of whom were first-time jobseekers, while the jobless rate was 8.35 percent for the 15-19 age group, and 6.10 percent for those aged 25-29, the data indicated.

Chen said the number of people who lost their jobs due to business downsizing or closures in February stood at 144,000, marking the eighth consecutive month of decline for this figure since July 2021 after it reached a peak of 250,000 in June last year due to a local outbreak of COVID-19.

Although the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the labor market have been mitigated, a full recovery of the labor market to its pre-pandemic levels appears distant, according to Chen.

However, there is still a chance that the jobless rate will continue to fall in March, she said, adding that the labor market will depend largely on domestic economic developments.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel