Unemployment rises to 4.08% in August (update)

Taiwan's unemployment rate stood at 4.08 percent in August, up 0.06 percentage points from the previous month and up 0.18 percentage points from the year-earlier level, according to government statistics released Thursday.

The number of unemployed increased by 8,000 from a month earlier to 480,000 in August, according to figures released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). The figure was a rise of 24,000 from a year earlier, the DGBAS data shows.

After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate for August was 3.95 percent, down 0.01 points from July, according to the DGBAS.

The DGBAS said that the August jobless rate rose to the same level as that of August 2014, when the figure also stood at 4.08 percent.

Pan Ning-hsin (???), deputy director at the DGBAS's census department, said that the spike in the local unemployment rate resulted from an increase in first-time jobseekers due to the graduation season and a rise in part-time job seekers.

In August, the number of first-time jobseekers rose 5,000 from a month earlier, and the number of those who lost their jobs due to business downsizing or closures rose 1,000, the DGBAS said.

Meanwhile, the number of those who were unhappy with their jobs and quit gained 1,000 month-on-month in August, while the number of those who lost their jobs because of temporary contract expiry also rose 1,000 from a month earlier, the DGBAS added.

In August, the jobless rate among the 20-24 age group hit 13.43 percent, up 0.38 percentage points from a month earlier, but fell 0.21 percentage points from a year earlier, while the unemployment rate among the 25-29 age bracket reached 6.98 percent, up 0.13 percentage points month-on-month and also up 0.27 percentage points year-on-year, the DGBAS said.

The DGBAS said that the jobless rate among those with a university degree or higher for August stood at 5.11 percent, up 0.11 percentage points from a month earlier and also up 0.04 percentage points from a year earlier.

The country's labor participation rate for August rose 0.09 percentage points from a month earlier to 58.93 percent, with a total of 11.29 million employed, up 15,000, or 0.13 percent, from a month earlier.

In the first eight months of this year, the local jobless rate averaged at 3.93 percent, up 0.2 percentage points. During the eight- month period, the labor participation rate rose 0.11 percentage points from a year earlier to 58.72 percent, the DGBAS said.

In response to the higher jobless rate in August, Chen Tain-jy (???), minister of the Cabinet-level National Development Council (NDC), said that the unemployment rate is a lagging economic indicator, so it needs some time for the job market to show signs of improvement.

Chen said that the rising jobless rate in August was nothing unusual during the current graduation season, hinting that there is no need for worry over the local job market.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel