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Jan. jobless rate drops to 4.02%; real wages set 15-year record low
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-26 12:37 PM
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS) released the job figures for January Wednesday. The overall unemployment rate dropped 0.06% to 4.02% from the previous month and decreased 0.14% from the same period of the previous year, a record low going back to July 2008. Jobless numbers reached 462,000 in January, a decline of 7,000 from the previous month.

A breakdown of the figures shows that the number of first-time job seekers dwindled by 6,000, with voluntary unemployment due to job dissatisfaction down 3,000, cyclical unemployment down 2,000, and unemployment generated by downsizing or shutdowns 1,000 lower. The total number of unemployed fell by 13,000 compared to the same period last year.

DGBAS indicated that, if viewed by level of education, unemployed holding a bachelor degree or higher accounted for 4.29%, the highest for the category. If viewed by age, people aged between 15 and 24 accounted for 12.69%, much higher than the 4.13% of the 25-44 year-old group and the 2.20% among those aged 45-64.

On the same day, the DGBAS also released figures for average nominal and real wages for last year. The nominal wage increased slightly by 0.17% to NT$45,965 (US$1,515) from 2012, however, real wages (CPI adjusted) were lower than the level of 15 years ago at NT$44,739.

The latest unemployment figures for neighboring countries were also included. Japan registered 3.7% while unemployment stood at 3.1% in Hong Kong, 3.0% in South Korea and 1.8% in Singapore (2.7% among residents). Taiwan ranked the worst among the Asian Tigers. Earlier this month, National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming commented that the Four Asian Tigers is a thing of the past as Taiwan no longer enjoys the momentum of strong growth that earned it a place in that exclusive club. Over the past few years Taiwan has ranked at the bottom compared to its neighbors in many economic indicators and in wages.

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