Service sector

Furloughed workers drop by more than 6,000 as service sector improves

Taipei, Dec 8 (CNA) The number of workers on formal furlough schemes in Taiwan fell from more than 6,000 in a week to less than 20,000 as the service sector improved further amid the easing concerns over nationally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said on Wednesday

Data compiled by the Department of Labor showed the number of workers who agreed to take unpaid leave fell to 19,035 as of December 7, down 6,192 from the previous report released on December 1.

Meanwhile, the number of companies with furlough schemes in place also fell by 580 from the previous week to 2,455, the data showed.

Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the labor standards and equal employment department of the Ministry of Labor, told reporters that due to the growth in consumption, there are businesses, ranging from large wedding banquet providers and hotel chains to small accommodation and restaurant operators, which ended unpaid weekday leave programs.

As of December 7, the number of furloughed workers in the accommodation and food/beverage industry fell by more than 3,000 from the previous week to 3,121, the Ministry of Labor said. Finance.

In addition, the number of employers in the sector with unpaid leave programs also fell to 215 from 370 in the week, the finance ministry added.

In the retail/wholesale industry, the number of furloughed workers fell to 1,580 as of December 7 from 2,574 a week earlier, also reflecting the recovery in domestic demand, while the number of employers implementing unpaid leave programs in the industry increased from 141 to 101.

However, there have been only minor changes in the support services industry, which is largely made up of travel agencies, with the number of furloughed workers still exceeding 9,000 as of December 7, accounting for nearly of 50% of the total in the country, the MOF data showed.

As of December 7, the number of workers on unpaid leave in the sector stood at 9,346, down from 9,586 a week earlier.

Huang said the support services industry was unlikely to make a breakthrough in employment with strict border control still in place.

As for the manufacturing sector, the Labor Ministry said, the number of furloughed workers rose by nearly 700 in a week to 2,028.

Huang said the increase came after an airline catering service provider, which is in the light industrial sector, implemented a furlough scheme during the week due to tight border controls. .

The ministry updates its data on furloughed workers on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 24th of each month. However, these figures only cover the unpaid leave plans put in place by companies which are declared to the ministry.

Most companies implementing leave programs are small businesses employing less than 50 people.

These unpaid leave programs typically last less than three months and involve employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, according to the Department of Labor.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Frances Huang)

End Article/AW