Job vacancies in Taiwan hit record high as labour shortage persists

Taiwan’s number of jobs available has risen to 1.04 million this month, with an online job employment platform attributing this to the declining population.
By: | November 8, 2023

The number of job vacancies in Taiwan has reached a new high of 1.04 million, marking the ninth consecutive month that the figure has remained above one million. This trend is being driven by a combination of factors, including Taiwan’s rapidly ageing population, a decline in the number of newborns, and changing values among young people.

According to 104 Job Bank, the number of job vacancies has increased by 4.2% from the same time last year. The hospitality sector, including hotels and restaurants, accounts for the largest share of vacancies, with 215,000 openings. Retailers, direct selling organisations, and wholesale operators follow with 168,000 vacancies. The electronics, software, and semiconductor industries have also added 15,500 vacancies.

The job bank warned that the trend of job vacancies exceeding one million could become a “new normal” due to Taiwan’s demographic challenges. Taiwan’s population has been declining for the past three consecutive years, and the number of newborns reached a record low of 138,000 last year.

The decline of Taiwan’s population, should it continue, will cause the workforce to downsize further. The changing priorities in the work needs of young employees will reinforce these trends, including the need for proper work-life balance and asking for compensation for overtime work.

In contrast, more employers have taken to employing middle-aged and elderly people to join their payroll, amounting to around 194,000, making up 18.5% of the overall vacancies, 1.66 times higher than four years ago. However, more than 50% of employers remain unwilling to hire middle-aged and older employees.

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The Ministry of Labour in Taiwan has rejected pleas from the hospitality sector to allow foreign employees to fill labour shortages, saying a continued mismatch between compensation offers and wage expectations accounts for their lack of manpower. Employers should adjust and offer better pay to resolve their issues, as the nation’s labour pool remains underdeveloped, said the ministry, reported Taipei Times.