Taipei, (CNA) The number of unaccounted for migrant workers declined to 18,209 in 2017, or 2.78 percent of the total, a record low since 2003, according to Ministry of Labor (MOL) statistics released Thursday.
The number of migrant workers who are unaccounted for has been stable at between 3 percent and 4 percent for the past few years. However, it has seen a significant decline over the past three years and hit a new low last year.
In 2017, while the total number of migrant workers reached 676,142, unaccounted for workers dropped to a record low of 2.78 percent of the total, according to the MOL statistics.
In fact, 18,209 accounted for only 2.69 percent of 676,142, not 2.78 percent as the MOL figures show.
MOL said it has its own way of calculating “unaccounted for” rate.
In 2016, the number of migrant workers whose whereabouts were unknown after leaving their official place of employment stood at 21,708, or 3.59 percent of the total.
MOL Workforce Development Agency official Hsueh Chien-chung (薛鑑忠) attributed the decline to the introduction of an amendment to the Employment Services Act, which removed the requirement for migrant workers to leave Taiwan every three years, along with the government’s intensified operations against illegal and absconding workers.
As of 2017, the number of migrant workers unaccounted for totaled 52,317, with Vietnamese workers registering the highest “unaccounted for” rate at 5.12 percent, followed by Indonesians at 2.91 percent and Filipinos and Thais at 0.37 percent each.
(By Yu Hsiao-han and Evelyn Kao)