Taiwan’s manufacturing sector rebounds: 2,200 workers return as global demand soars

This decline is particularly significant as it reflects a positive shift in the economic landscape, with increased demand leading to a boost in manufacturing activities. Of the 2,202 workers brought back to work on a full-time basis, a significant portion—2,158—find employment in the export-oriented manufacturing sector.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor has reported a substantial decrease of 2,202 manufacturing workers on formal unpaid leave programs over the last two weeks, signalling a robust resurgence in the country’s manufacturing sector. The number of workers on unpaid leave dropped from 9,764 to 7,562 between January 2 and the most recent update, according to data compiled by the ministry.

This decline is particularly significant as it reflects a positive shift in the economic landscape, with increased demand leading to a boost in manufacturing activities. Of the 2,202 workers brought back to work on a full-time basis, a significant portion—2,158—find employment in the export-oriented manufacturing sector. Notably, these workers are concentrated in key areas such as metal, electric machinery, information technology (IT), and electronics, all of which have experienced marked rebounds in orders.

The resurgence in manufacturing is not only evident in the overall decrease in furloughs but also in the specific sectors that contribute significantly to Taiwan’s export prowess. The metal industry, driven by increased demand for raw materials and components, has seen a notable rise in workforce participation. Simultaneously, the electric machinery and IT sectors have witnessed a surge in employment, underscoring the global demand for electronic components and technological products.

Labour Conditions and Equal Employment Division Deputy Director Wang Chin-Jung (王金蓉) highlighted the industries that saw a substantial reinstatement of employees. Around 800 workers in sectors like bicycles and bicycle components, semiconductors, and metal products have returned to work, signifying a recovery in these critical areas. An additional 400 employees reinstated in the IT and electronics sectors showcase the broad-based improvement across multiple segments of the manufacturing landscape.

This positive trend aligns with the broader global increase in demand for manufacturing, particularly in sectors witnessing rebounds in orders. The decline in workers placed on formal unpaid leave programs has been consistent since reaching a peak of 12,388 at the end of August last year. The Ministry of Labor expects this downward trend to continue, especially in January, as companies gear up to meet delivery deadlines ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Taiwan’s manufacturing sector, known for its agility and technological prowess, is now experiencing a resurgence that not only contributes to domestic economic recovery but also aligns with positive global manufacturing trends. As the demand for goods increases, businesses are recalibrating their workforce to meet production requirements, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of Taiwan’s manufacturing landscape.