TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The number of furloughed workers in Taiwan has dropped to a new eight-month low, with only about 6,000 Taiwanese still taking unpaid leave due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest data revealed by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Tuesday (Dec. 8), 451 domestic companies have implemented unpaid leave programs, while a total of 6,067 Taiwanese have agreed to go on furlough, down 5,261 from a week earlier. The MOL said this is the largest decline observed since February when businesses were forced to place their employees on unpaid leave to lower manpower costs.
The data showed that the manufacturing sector registered most of the country's furloughed workers with 2,786, followed by the wholesale and retail industry with 1,215 and the transportation sector with 1,158. Although the manufacturing sector still accounts for over 2,000 furloughed employees, this is the first time it registered less than 50 percent of the total number.
Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), deputy director of the MOL's Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, explained that the huge drop in furloughed workers is due to footwear manufacturer Pou Chen Corp.'s decision to resume normal operation. He said the company had approximately 3,500 workers on unpaid leave previously, reported CNA.
The MOL releases furloughed worker data on the 1st, 8th, 16th, and 24th of every month. Most unpaid leave programs are introduced by small enterprises with 50 employees or less, and they typically last for fewer than three months.
Number of Taiwan's furloughed workers falls to 6,067. (MOL website screenshot)