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New job openings increase in March as economy improves
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Taipei, May 2 (CNA) The number of new job openings created in March rose more than 3 percent from a year earlier at a time when the local economy has been improving, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) said on Tuesday.

According to the MOL, employers from all business sectors in Taiwan signed up with government-run recruitment organizations in March to seek 136,175 newcomers, a 21-month high.

The March figure was up 3.54 percent from a year earlier, the MOL said, citing statistics compiled by the ministry's TaiwanJobs recruitment platform.

The increase in new job openings was announced by the ministry after the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported on April 24 that Taiwan's jobless rate stood at 3.78 percent, down 0.11 percentage points from a year earlier and also down 0.07 percentage points month-on-month.

A better local job market reflected an improvement in the local economy with several think tanks having upgraded their forecasts of gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2017 to more than 2 percent, compared with a 1.50 percent rise seen in 2016.

The DGBAS reported last week that Taiwan's GDP growth for the first quarter of this year hit 2.56 percent, beating an estimate of 2.45 percent made in February.

According to the MOL, almost 50 percent of employers who registered job openings with the ministry said that the number of new jobs available rose both month-on-month and year-on-year. The ministry said the increase indicated the growth in demand for talent was aimed at business expansion.

The number of new job openings in the local manufacturing sector totaled 61,685, which accounted for almost half of the total new jobs created in the month, up 17.31 percent from a year earlier and also up 10.42 percent from the previous month, the MOL said.

The ministry said that almost 40 percent of the new jobs created by the local manufacturing sector were located in Tainan (19.7 percent) and Taoyuan (18.89 percent) in March.

The MOL said that a total of 67,325 job seekers signed up with government-run recruitment organizations in March, up 9.43 percent from a month earlier. Based on the latest jobseeker data, the ratio of jobseekers to job opportunities was 1:2.02.