12/17/2018, 00.00
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Taiwan facing labour shortages, almost 2 million women at home for family reasons

About 5.24 million people of working age are not employed as of last May. Economic growth will end in 2027 when those employed will account for less than 66.7 per cent of the population. Agreement protects Indonesian migrant workers.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Due to its rapidly aging of the population, Taiwan’s economy will soon face labour shortages.

According to a report by the National Development Council, Taiwan's working age population peaked in 2015 and started shrinking gradually in 2016. By 2027, it is expected to be less than 66.7 per cent of the total.

As the birth rate drops, the proportion of the labour force rises, boosting overall productivity and economic growth. However, nearly 2 million Taiwanese women are currently not in the labour force for family reasons, says the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) in this year's manpower utilisation survey.

The latter found that the number of people aged 15-64 not in the labour force reached 5.24 million in May, with home responsibilities the main reason cited for not working by nearly 2.04 million people, followed by "attending school or preparing for entrance exams," cited by nearly 2.03 million people. Some 50,000 people cited "old age, physical or mental challenges" as reasons for not working

To counter the trend, Taiwanese authorities have turned to migrant workers. On Friday, the governments of Taiwan and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the recruitment, employment and protection of Indonesian migrant workers.

With the MoU, the two parties agree to promote bilateral collaboration and exchange in the fields of vocational training, skill development, work assistance, start-up for women, and capacity building for people with disabilities.

Taiwan is the second country of destination for Indonesian migrant workers after Malaysia. According to the country’s Ministry of Labour, some 190,000 Indonesian migrant workers are employed as caregivers or domestic helpers in the island nation, 76 per cent of all the migrant workers in these categories.

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