Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) The number of furloughed workers on formal unpaid leave programs in Taiwan fell below 10,000 in the past week after four manufacturers received rush orders to end unpaid their leave programs, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said Wednesday.
Data compiled by the MOL showed the number of workers placed on furlough stood at 9,809 as of Nov. 7, down 1,060 from the 10,869 logged on Oct. 31.
In addition, the number of employers that used furlough programs also fell to 364 as of Nov. 7, down 72 from a week earlier, the data indicated.
Speaking with CNA, Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛), director of the LDC’s Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment, said the fall in furloughed workers nationwide came after the manufacturing sector reported a decline of more than 800 workers placed on unpaid leave.
Huang said four manufacturers, that each employ more than 100 people, two of which are in the metal and electric machinery industry and two of which are in the information electronics industry, ended their furlough programs this past week after receiving rush or short-term orders .
However, the export-oriented manufacturing sector still reported the highest number of furloughed workers, 8,791 as of Nov. 7, which comprises almost 90 percent of the total number enrolled in such programs in Taiwan, the MOL said.
The metal and electric machinery industry had placed 5,648 workers on unpaid leave as of Nov. 7, while the number of furloughed workers in the information electronics industry stood at 1,861, the MOL added.
On the other hand, the local service sector appeared relatively stable as domestic consumption remained consistent in the post-COVID-19 era, MOL data showed.
During the week, the number of furloughed workers in the retail and wholesale industries fell from 927 to 866, while those furloughed in the support service industry, which is comprised of travel agencies, dropped to 55 from 83, the data showed.
The MOL updates its furloughed worker data on the 1st, 8th, 16th, and 24th of every month and reports the number of employees placed on furlough by companies registered with the ministry.
Most of the enterprises implementing furlough programs are small firms that employ fewer than 50 people.
Unpaid leave programs typically last for less than three months, with employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, according to the MOL.
(By Wu Hsin-yun and Frances Huang)