NEW YEAR BLIP:Discontented workers coupled with people who lost their jobs to temporary hiring raised the unemployment rate by 0.07 percentage points last month
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter
The unemployment rate rose to 3.85 percent last month, ending five consecutive months of decline, as people quit their jobs to look for better positions and firms shed temporary workers following the Lunar New Year holiday season, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The unemployment figure is likely to edge down again this month in the absence of an economic surprise, due to a stable recovery that has led firms to increase their workforce, the statistics agency said.
“It is common for people unhappy with their jobs to quit after the Lunar New Year holiday,” DGBAS Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) told a media briefing.
If they find new positions, the unemployment rate would drop, Pan said.
Discontented workers coupled with people who lost jobs to temporary hiring raised the unemployment rate by 0.07 percentage points from a month earlier, Pan said.
Compared with a year earlier, the reading fell 0.1 percentage points and stood at 3.83 percent after seasonal adjustments, he said.
There were about 453,000 unemployed people in the nation last month, an increase of 8,000 from a month earlier, the agency’s report showed.
An extra 1,000 people lost their jobs to business downsizing or closures, while the number of first-time jobseekers dropped by 1,000, it said.
By education breakdown, the jobless rate was highest among people who have a university degree or higher at 4.73 percent, followed by college graduates at 4.14 percent, the report said.
The unemployment rate was 3.85 percent for people with a high-school education and 3.03 percent for people who only finished junior high school.
By demographic breakdown, the jobless rate was highest among people aged 15 to 24 at 12.18 percent, followed by those aged between 25 and 29 at 6.71 percent. People aged 45 and older had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.07 percent, the report showed.
In related news, the total average wage including regular pay, bonuses, overtime and other compensation in January was NT$93,144 (US$3,054), the statistics agency said in a separate report.
It is a tradition for companies to distribute bonuses ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday and workers this year had further benefited from monetary compensation for unused leave in line with the new labor law.
Headline take-home wages averaged NT$39,679 in January, representing a 1.37 percent increase from a year earlier, as the nation’s economy improved, the report said.
However, inflation of 2.25 percent during the same period more than wiped out the increase and eroded real regular wages by 0.86 percent, it said.