Taiwan jobless rate edges slightly higher in August (update)

Taipei-Taiwan's jobless rate edged higher in August as more new graduates entered the job market for the first time, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Monday.

Taiwan had an unemployment rate of 3.89 percent in August, up 0.07 percentage points from July. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate also rose by 0.01 percentage points in August to 3.73 percent.

The DGBAS said it was no surprise that the nominal unemployment rate spiked during the graduation season between June and August when new university graduates typically flood the labor market.

But the seasonally adjusted rates of 3.72 percent in July and 3.73 percent in August, which account for the annual influx of new job seekers, were similar to the 3.73 percent jobless rate for the January to August period.

That pointed to a stable job market, said Pan Ning-hsin (???), deputy director of the DGBAS census department.

The nominal jobless rate was also the second lowest for August in 19 years, trailing only the 3.87 percent seen in August 2018, further evidence of the stability of the local job market, Pan said.

The 3.73 percent rate in the first eight months was up 0.03 percentage points from the same period in 2018.

Despite the higher nominal jobless rate in August, the labor participation rate rose 0.10 percentage points from a month earlier to 59.38 percent, the DGBAS figures showed.

The average labor participation rate in the first eight months of 2019 was 59.14 percent, up 0.19 percentage points from a year earlier, while the number of people employed on average rose by 73,000, or 0.63 percent, from a year earlier to 11.49 million, the DGBAS said.

In August, the number of those without a job rose 9,000, or 1.98 percent, from a month earlier to 466,000, while the number of those who were employed stood at 11.53 million, up 15,000, or 0.13 percent, from a month earlier, the figures showed.

In August, the number of first time job seekers rose 3,000 from a month earlier, and the number of those who quit to look for another job rose 4,000, the DGBAS said.

The jobless rate for people with a university degree was 5.74 percent in August, the highest among all education groups. It was 3.55 percent for people with a high school diploma and 3.11 percent for those with a graduate school degree, DGBAS figures showed.

The unemployment rate for different age groups was 10.51 percent among people aged 15-19 and 13.05 percent among those aged 20-24 due to the higher number of first-time job seekers in those age groups.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel