The number of furloughed workers in the nation increased over the past week as border controls amid the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect the tourism industry, the Ministry of Labor said yesterday.
As of Friday, the number of workers who had reached an agreement with their employers to take unpaid leave rose to 4,222, up from 4,109 on April 25, ministry data showed.
The number of employers that implement unpaid leave programs rose by 17 to 447 over the period, the data showed.
Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment Director Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) said that the border controls have affected the local service support industry, which includes travel agencies, adding that it is no surprise that the number of furloughed workers is rising.
As of Friday, the number of furloughed workers in the service support industry rose to 1,021 from 1,004 a week earlier, while the number of employers implementing unpaid leave programs rose from 150 to 156, the ministry said.
Border controls also hurt the local transport and logistics industry, Huang said, adding that the service support and the transport and logistics industries would remain in the doldrums as long as the effects of COVID-19 persist.
The number of furloughed workers in the wholesale and retail industry rose by 60 to 583 over the past week, while the number of employers implementing unpaid leave programs rose by five to 104, Huang said.
Taipei accounted for about one-third of the total number of furloughed workers and employers implementing furlough programs, as the capital serves as a hub for the nation’s airline, travel, wholesale and retail businesses, Huang said.
The transport and logistics industry recorded the largest number of unpaid workers at 1,413, followed by the support service industry at 1,021, and the manufacturing industry at 712, the ministry said.
The ministry updates the data on furloughed workers every week. The figures only cover unpaid leave plans implemented by companies that are recorded with the ministry.
Most of the companies implementing furlough programs are small firms with fewer than 50 employees. Unpaid leave programs typically last for fewer than three months and involve employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month, the ministry has said.
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