Amid Covid-19 Layoffs Elsewhere, Taiwan Expects Hiring Spree To Accelerate

While employers in much of the world lay off workers and freeze hiring, companies in Taiwan will hire more people in the fourth quarter, according to a survey by staffing agency ManpowerGroup. In fact, the firm gave the island the brightest employment outlook out of 43 markets.

Net employment outlook for the fourth quarter in Taiwan increased by 11 percentage points from the previous quarter to 18%, according to the ManpowerGroup survey, which is based on interviews with 1,094 employers in the island.

In the October-to-December quarter, 23% of Taiwan-based employers surveyed plan to add staffing and 5% plan to make cuts, the survey found. The rest would keep current staffing levels. Construction and leisure will report the strongest job growth in the coming quarter, the survey showed.

Employers in construction are responding to demand for housing amid low interest rates, while those in leisure have seen a mid-year surge in domestic-only tourism, says John Brebeck, senior adviser at Taipei-based investment consultancy Quantum International. Taiwan closed foreign travel and most Taiwanese are staying home this year to avoid virus risks abroad and the specter of a 14-day quarantine after returning.

Some local factories are getting extra orders because they’re able to operate while disease outbreaks elsewhere may be hobbling production, Brebeck says. The island’s biggest companies develop high-tech hardware, machinery and machine tools. “If you can produce, then you have benefited and there are many companies that are at full capacity or have backlogs or orders,” he says.

Meanwhile, the OECD says unemployment rates globally will be “much higher than at the peak of the global financial crisis” of more than a decade ago “as companies have frozen hiring and put part of their workforce on hold through subsidized job-retention schemes.”

Compared to the rest of the world, Taiwan has been able to contain the coronavirus pandemic through contact tracing and quarantine rules. Taiwan’s cumulative caseload stood at roughly 500 as of Wednesday.

Government officials never ordered key industries to close or that workers stay home, allowing business to continue. Domestic tourism, home purchases and orders for Taiwan’s manufactured exports are seen fueling new business in late 2020. Taiwan’s export-reliant, roughly $600 billion GDP is forecast to grow 1.77% this year despite bleak economic outlooks around the globe.

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