Unemployment rate stable in February despite coronavirus impact

Taipei,  Taiwan’s jobless rate remained relatively stable in February despite the growing battle with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the month, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Monday.

The nominal jobless rate in February rose 0.06 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.70 percent but the seasonally adjusted rate edged down 0.01 percentage points from a month earlier, also to 3.70 percent.

The DGBAS said in a statement that the COVID-19 outbreak that started in late January has started to hit the travel, hotel, and retail sectors hard and it is watching closely to see how the epidemic will affect the local job market over time.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Monday the number of new job openings in Taiwan’s manufacturing sector increased by 35.38 percent in February from a month earlier.

The increase came as Taiwanese businesses moved production from China back to Taiwan because of disruptions to their manufacturing bases in China caused by lockdowns of population centers due to the spread of COVID-19.

According to MOL data, the number of job seekers registered at public employment service agencies in February totaled 58,416, up 19.28 percent from a month earlier, while the number of job openings in February was 99,954, up 18.75 percent, translating to a ratio of 1.71 openings per job seeker.

The number of job openings in the manufacturing sector alone hit a nearly eight-month high of 44,122, up 35.38 percent from a month ago and up 18.77 percent from the same month last year.

To meet the demand, the MOL’s Workforce Development Agency is holding an online job fair with 7,809 openings in the TaiwanJobs section of its website until March 26, it said, and it also plans to hold small talent acquisition activities around Taiwan in April.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel