Taiwan’s jobless rate in May rises for 4th straight month

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TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s unemployment rate edged up for the fourth consecutive month in May, while the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lessened, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Monday.

The jobless rate showed a 0.04 percentage point rise in May from a month earlier to 4.07 percent. After seasonal adjustments, it rose 0.06 percentage points from a month earlier to 4.16 percent, the highest since November 2013, DBGAS data showed.

The labor force participation rate in May was 59.06 percent,the same as the previous month, the DGBAS said.

In May, the number of unemployed in the country increased by 5,000, or 1.01 percent, from the previous month to 486,000, due mainly to downsizing or closure of companies, according to the DGBAS.

Meanwhile, owing to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, more employees saw a decrease in work hours in May, with 456,000 working less than 35 hours per week, 56,000 more than the previous month, according to DGBAS data.

Although the number of unemployed and the jobless rate both showed upticks, the increases slowed down, as the COVID-19 epidemic has notably eased, according to Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department.

As the pandemic has continued to subside in Taiwan, domestic demand has shown signs of improvement, Chen said.

In May, the number of people employed in the services sector increased by 4,000, while the lodging and food/beverage industries employed 1,000 more workers compared with a decrease of 10,000 the previous month.

However, the number of workers employed in the manufacturing sector in the month declined 6,000, according to Chen.

Based on figures over the past few years, the unemployment rate is expected to climb in June with new graduates entering the workforce, Chen added.