Unemployment rate hits above 4 percent, 477,000 jobless

By Ann Yu ,The China Post

Directorate-General of Budgeting, Accounting and Statistics’ (DGBS) Chen Min (陳憫) disclosed that the unemployment rate in June was a record 4.21 percent, totaling 477,000 people without jobs, yesterday. The number features an increase of 0.09 percent compared to May, and a 0.14-percent decrease compared to June of 2011.

With graduation season approaching, the unemployment rate will continue to rise, according to Chen, who also noted that 13,000 first-time job seekers were among the 477,000. According to past trends, the rates will continue to rise, with August striking as the climax month of unemployment.

Job Demands Diminish Reports also indicate that entrepreneurs and business owners are taking a more cautious stance in hiring new employees, said Chen. Employers hire new people according to the dynamics of the market, she explained. 1111 Job Bank public relations director Henry Ho (何啟聖) noted that roughly 100,000 graduate alumni begin searching for jobs every year. Citing the 1111 job bank report, the number of those seeking full-paid jobs have increased 30 percent in their databases over the month of June, while the number of job postings remained the same. This indicates a shortage of demand for job searchers, hinting at an inevitable unemployment rise in the future, he said.

Pay Cuts Show Pessimistic Future Scholars worry the slowing economic growth rate, coupled with the eurozone debt crisis will cause an impact on future employment rates, even though the numbers indicate a decrease in comparison with last year. Director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Steven Yang (楊家彥) noted that occasional salary cuts and the increase in part-time jobs are gradually becoming the norm in Taiwan, despite the low unemployment rate.

As economies continue struggling under the impact of the global debt crisis, Taiwan markets will head toward a downward spiral as firms merge and independent businesses withdraw from the markets, Yang explained. Given this trend, consumer rates will drop, choking the market’s cash flow, he said. The market does not currently show much promise for job seekers, Yang stressed.

According to reports from the DGBS, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is 8.2 percent, 8.1 percent in the UK and 7.2 percent in Canada, while Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore all display rates below 5 percent.

As for job availability, the 1111 Job Bank stated that the human resources field has the most demand at 18.48 percent, engineering, manufacturing and production at 17.42 percent and IT services with demand of 14.33 percent.

Chen reassured that this was not the worst yet, and officials are taking action to decrease the unemployment rate.