Taiwan’s jobless rate dips to 3-year low of 4.18 percent in Dec.

The China Post news staff

Taiwan’s jobless rate edged down 0.1 of a percentage point from a month earlier to 4.18 percent in December 2011, for the lowest level of its kind in three years and four months, according to statistics released yesterday by the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Chen Min, a deputy division chief at the DGBAS, attributed the decline in the December unemployment rate to the decrease of 11,000 in the unemployed population, which stood at 471,000 as of the end of the month.

Chen continued that the number of first-time job seekers who failed to find jobs in December showed a decline of 5,000 from November. The number of people who resigned and became jobless posted a decrease of 3,000, compared to a dip of 2,000 in the number of people who became unemployed as a result of their original employers scaling down or closing business operations in the month.

By contrast, Taiwan’s total employed population in December posted a slight increase of 0.13 percent or 14,000 over November to reach 108.02 million, according to the same DGBAS tallies. Chen said that domestic job market was relatively stable in December 2011, with the overall unemployment situation improved significantly from the preceding two years.

The island’s average jobless rate for 2011 stood at 4.39 percent, down 0.82 of a percentage point from 2010, with the average jobless population representing an annual decrease of 86,000 to reach 491,000, according to the DGBAS statistics. The same tallies also indicated that domestic manufacturing sector posted an average of 14.2 hours in overtime work in November 2011, the lowest figure of its kind seen since September 2009.

Meanwhile, the average monthly salary recorded by employees in November showed a decline of 1.88 percent from October to reach NT$39,881. In the first 11 months of 2011, the average monthly pay of employees in Taiwan reached NT$45,643, the highest level of its kind for the same period over the past years. In related news, a survey conducted by the 1111 Job Bank showed that up to 76 percent of the respondents expressed their intention to change jobs before or after the Chinese New Year holidays, compared to the corresponding figure of 66 percent posted one year earlier.

Of those who wanted to change jobs, 35.29 percent aimed for higher pay, followed by 34.56 percent who were unsatisfied with the welfare terms offered by their original employers, and 33.09 percent who wished to change jobs in line with their personal career plans. A ranking official with the online job bank said that the local job market is expected to see a significant reshuffle between February and April, in that those who plan to change jobs will then carry out their plans, especially in the fields of information technology, medical/ agricultural and environmental, and manufacturing sectors.

On another front, up to 73 percent of enterprises polled by the 1111 Job Bank planned to solicit new workforce in the first quarter of the year, but the average number of new employees they wanted to recruit declined to an average of 9.09 people from 13.