Thursday, February 26, 2015

Taiwan's labor force will start shrinking next year: premier

Taiwan's labor force will start shrinking next year: premier

2015/02/26 14:47:52

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Premier Mao Chi-kuo said Thursday that Taiwan's labor force will decrease rapidly starting next year due to the country's declining birth rate.

Citing a forecast by the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Mao said Taiwan's working-age population -- people aged 15-65 -- will begin a parabolic decline in 2016 after peaking at 17 million this year.

Starting in 2016, the working-age population will fall by 180,000 people per year, which will amount to a decrease of 1.8 million people over 10 years, he said at a news conference. The premier warned that such a decline in the labor force will pose a more serious threat to the country than the drop in the overall population.

To address the problem, the government will need to work to increase the labor force participation rate and ensure that young people are properly trained to meet job market demand, he said.

The government will also help people overcome problems that are deterring them from getting married and having children, he added.

The premier did not elaborate but the reasons often cited by young people for having second thoughts about starting a family include stagnant wages and high living costs, especially housing.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Y.F. Low)

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