March unemployment stands at 3.72%


TAIPEI–Taiwan’s jobless rate hit 3.72 percent in March, up by 0.03 percentage points from February but down by 0.31 percentage points from a year earlier, government statistics showed Wednesday.

The month-on-month increase in Taiwan’s unemployment rate partly reflected the expiration of some temporary contracts after the Lunar New Year holiday, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

The DGBAS said many employees tend to quit their jobs following the Lunar New Year holiday to look for new employers, which also boosted the increase in the jobless rate in March.

Despite the month-on-month increase, the March jobless rate was the lowest level compared with the same month in the past 15 years. The unemployment rate seen in March 2000 stood at 2.83 percent.

After seasonal adjustments, the March jobless rate was 0.01 percentage points higher than February to 3.75 percent, the government agency said.

In March, the number of those who had lost their jobs in Taiwan totaled 431,000, up 3,000 from a month earlier, the data showed.

In the month, the number of those who became unemployed due to temporary contract expiration rose 2,000 from a month earlier, and the number of those who were unhappy about their previous jobs and quit to find new ones grew 3,000 month-on-month, the statistics indicated. The number of workers switching jobs tends to rise to a peak after the Lunar New Year holiday.

However, the number of first-time jobseekers for March fell 3,000 from February, helping stabilizing the entire jobless rate for the month, according to the data.

Last month, the number of employed people in Taiwan rose 2,000 or 0.02 percent from a month earlier to 11.16 million, while the labor participation rate in the month fell by 0.01 percentage points from February to 58.55 percent.

Lo Yi-ling, deputy director of the DGBAS Department of Census, said that the higher number of employed people here reflected a recovery of the local economy which boosted demand for workforce.

In March, the jobless rate for the 20-24 age bracket fell 0.13 of a percentage point from February to 12.19 percent, while the unemployment rate for the 25-29 age group rose 0.23 percentage points to 6.55 percent.

Last month, the jobless rate for people holding a university degree or higher dropped by 0.04 percentage points month-on-month to 4.71 percent.

Lo said that job switching waves are expected to keep affecting the local market over the next few months to push up the local jobless rate slightly.