Taiwan cuts down reliance on foreign maids, workers

Published by rudy Date posted on April 6, 2009

TAIPEI—Taiwan has cut the number of foreign workers and maids working on the island by 24,000 since November, as a result of the global economic slowdown, it was reported Sunday.

As of February, there were 349,000 foreign workers and maids in Taiwan, largely from Southeast Asia, compared with 373,000 in November, the Economic Daily News reported, citing the Council of Labor Affairs.

The number of foreign laborers is expected to drop further in the coming months, with 30,000 to be sent home this year, the council has announced.

The move comes as Taiwan’s unemployment rate rose to a record high of 5.75 percent in February on business downsizing and closures amid a recession, the government said.

But the council expected the cut in foreign workers to slow after the manufacturing sector showed signs of improvement, with many high-tech firms receiving large orders from China.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker, has announced it is canceling unpaid leave from April 1 to meet the Chinese orders.

Taiwan, the sixth-biggest economy in Asia, has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, with record falls in its key export sector, particularly among bellwether electronics firms.

In Manila, The National Anti-Poverty Commission claimed over the weekend that more than 75,000 previously unemployed Filipinos had found jobs through the government’s emergency employment program.

The number of Filipinos who had landed jobs under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program rose to 75,016 as of March 23 from 64,000 in late February, commission head Domingo Panganiban said in a statement.

“The latest reports from the field indicate that around 11,000 more Filipinos were hired to work [under the program] between Feb. 25 and March 23 of this year,” Panganiban said.

He said the government’s budget for the program had also increased after national agencies started hiring people dislocated by the global economic slowdown. AFP, with Roderick T. dela Cruz

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