Taiwan suffers from talent imbalance: government report

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Taiwan is experiencing a severe imbalance in talent inflows and outflows, with the majority of Taiwanese leaving the country to work having higher education degrees that qualify them for professional jobs, while most foreigners working in Taiwan are non-professionals, a government research report indicates.

The number of Taiwanese working in foreign countries increased from 662,000 in 2009 to 728,000 in 2016, according to a July report reviewing manpower policy, published by the Budget Center at the Legislative Yuan.

Among Taiwanese working overseas in 2016, 534,000, or 73.4 percent, were college or university graduates, or those with higher academic degrees, the report said.

In contrast, the number of foreign professionals working in Taiwan has risen much more slowly, from 27,319 in 2008 to 30,928 in 2016, the report said. However, only 2,634, or 8.52 percent, were high-ranking executives at oversea Taiwanese-invested or foreign companies, the report added.

At the same time, the number of foreign workers hired to do non-professional jobs in Taiwan grew from 365,060 in 2008 to 676,142 in 2016, the report said.

The report raised concerns over the potential impact of this "brain drain" on Taiwan's technology competitiveness. With most foreigners coming to Taiwan to work unable to help improve the nation's innovation and research and development capabilities, the country faces a "high-out, low-in" deficit in its talent bank, the report said.

In addition to the talent imbalance, Taiwan also saw an imbalance in labor supply and demand.

For example, the manpower shortage rate in Taiwan's industrial sector increased from 1.79 percent in February 2009 to 3.1 percent in February 2018, and the ratio of vacant jobs to number of people unemployed surged from 19 percent in 2009 to 56 percent this year, the report pointed out.

In February 2018, Taiwan had a jobless rate of 3.7 percent or 438,000, while its industrial sector reported 243,920 positions vacant, the report said, suggesting that despite its desperate need for workers, the industrial sector is suffering from a labor shortage due to issues relating to qualification or other factors.

The Legislature's Budget Center is tasked with researching, analyzing, assessing and consulting on the central government's budget and other bills.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel