September jobless rate expected to remain steady


TAIPEI — Taiwan’s nominal unemployment rate usually dips in September because of seasonal factors, but a scholar predicted yesterday that this year’s figure, to be released Oct. 22, will be generally unchanged given the stagnant nature of the country’s labor market.

Hsin Ping-lung, an associate professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of National Development, said the September jobless rate might fall slightly, but he did not foresee a significant drop because of how stagnant the labor market has been since last year.

The lack of movement in Taiwan’s labor market is evident from the country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which removes seasonal factors from the calculation and gives a better picture of underlying trends.

It has hovered within the very narrow range of 4.16 percent to 4.20 percent this year.

Any significant decline in the nominal jobless rate is unlikely to take place until October, when businesses begin hiring to gear up for the Lunar New Year period, Hsin said.

July and August are often the months with the highest nominal unemployment rates of the year because of the many new university graduates joining the job-seeking population.

The unemployment rate in August this year reached 4.33 percent, up 0.08 percentage points from July and up 0.19 percentage points from June.

September numbers are usually lower in comparison. Last year, for example, the figures fell from 4.4 percent in August to 4.32 percent in September.

The government’s statistics bureau, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, will release its manpower survey for September on Oct. 22.