Unemployment falls slightly in September (update)

Taiwan's rate of unemployment fell 0.09 percentage points from August to 3.99 percent in September, although it was up 0.10 percent year-on-year, according to government figures released on Monday.

After seasonal adjustments, unemployment stood at 3.93 percent in September, down 0.02 percentage points from August, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

There were 469,000 people out of work in September, down 11,000 compared with August, according to DGBAS figures.

The September jobless rate fell to below 4 percent, following 4.02 percent and 4.08 percent in July and August, respectively.

The DGBAS said that the decline in September was caused by a fall in the number of first time jobseekers, adding that the spike in the jobless rate in July and August was largely caused by an increase in new graduates on the local market.

In September, the number of first-time jobseekers fell 7,000 from a month earlier, indicating that more new graduates landed jobs in the month, Pan Ning-hsin (???), deputy director of the DGBAS's census department, said. According to the DGBAS, such a downtrend is normal in the local job market.

Last month, the number of those who were unhappy with their jobs and quit fell 3,000 from August and the number of those who lost jobs due to termination of temporary and seasonal work contracts was down 1,000, the DGBAS data showed.

However, the statistics also indicated that the number of those who lost jobs because of business downsizing or closures rose 1,000 from the previous month in September.

After seasonal adjustments the jobless rate fell to below the 4 percent mark, indicating the local job market is improving, though at a slow pace, Pan said.

In September, the jobless rate among the 20-24 age group hit 13.03 percent, down 0.40 percentage points from a month earlier, while the unemployment rate among those aged 25-29 reached 6.86 percent, down 0.12 percentage points month-on-month, the DGBAS said.

The jobless rate among those with a university degree or higher in September stood at 4.95 percent, down 0.16 percentage points from a month earlier, the government agency said.

The country's labor participation rate for September fell 0.14 percentage points from a month earlier to 58.79 percent, with a total employed work force of 11.75 million, down 25,000, or 0.21 percent, from a month earlier.

In the first nine months of this year, the local jobless rate averaged 3.94 percent, up 0.20 percentage points from the previous year. During that nine month period, the average labor participation rate also rose 0.09 percentage points year-on-year to 58.72 percent, the DGBAS said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel