The unemployment rate dropped to 3.87 percent last month, down 0.08 percentage points from October, as companies in the service sector increased headcount to meet rising business demand ahead of the holidays this month and next month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The trend might be sustained into the Lunar New Year holiday in early February, but the dissolution of TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空) and the downsizing at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) could negatively affect the rate, the agency said.
“More people, especially graduates, found jobs last month as companies increased their headcounts amid the economic recovery,” DGBAS Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) said.
Economic barometers such as exports, industrial production and the purchasing managers’ index all lent support to improving business activity.
Consequently, the number of first-time job seekers fell by 7,000 and people losing jobs to temporary hiring, business closures or downsizing dropped by 1,000, the monthly report showed.
The jobless population stood at 455,000 people, it said.
After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate stood at 3.84 percent, down 0.06 percentage points from the previous month, it said.
The latest jobless rate was lower than the same period last year, as the economy makes a steady recovery, it said.
In the first 11 months of this year, the average unemployment rate stood at 3.93 percent, up 0.16 percentage points from the previous year, the agency said.
Unemployment was highest among people who have university degrees or higher at 4.8 percent, followed by people with college diplomas at 4.17 percent, it added.
The rate stood at 3.88 percent for people with high-school diplomas and at 2.98 percent for people with at most a junior-high education, it said.
By demographic breakdown, the unemployment rate was highest for people aged 15 to 24 at 12.31 percent, followed by those 25 to 29 at 6.67 percent, the agency said.
The average jobless rates stood at 4.02 percent for people aged between 25 and 44 and at 2.05 percent for those 45 to 64, it said.
Meanwhile, monthly take-home wages averaged NT$39,362 (US$1,228.91) in October, an increase of 1.08 percent from a year earlier, the agency said in a separate report.
The average monthly wage, including bonuses and other compensation, was NT$43,069 in October, an increase of 0.42 percent from a year earlier, the report said.
In the first 10 months of the year, take-home wages rose 1.3 percent to an average of NT$39,167 per month, while the average salary rose 0.26 percent to NT$49,392, it said.