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Taiwan’s hospitality sector faces severe labor shortage

Reporter Vivian Hsiao
Release time:2023/11/22 19:08
Last update time:2023/11/22 19:08
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwan's hospitality industry, a key pillar of its economy, is currently facing a significant labor shortage. In 2022, the industry's job vacancy rate reached 4.10%, notably higher than the 2.73% average across other domestic industries, according to the Directorate-General of Budgeting, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS). 

This trend continued into 2023, with the Tourism Administration reporting a critical shortage of housekeeping and cleaning staff, averaging a shortfall of 5,500 workers.

 

Chen Yu-ying, public relations manager in the Culture and Tourism Sector, acknowledged the crisis. "The labor shortage rate is about 10% to 20%," she said. To combat this, the sector has diversified its hiring practices. 

"Our current support measures include hiring part-time workers and those reentering the job market, in addition to regular full-time jobs. We have also invited cleaning companies to cooperate with us," Chen added.

Despite these efforts, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) faced challenges in effectively bridging the gap between job vacancies and successful hires. As of November 1, out of 5,573 job recommendations, only 434 resulted in employment, translating to a mere 7.79% match rate. 
 

This indicates that while monetary incentives for senior workers and training subsidies for businesses provide some relief, they are insufficient in addressing the sector's need for manual labor.

Demographic shifts further complicate the situation. Before the pandemic, cleaning staff aged 45 and above made up 59% of the industry. By 2023, this number had dropped to 35%, suggesting a reluctance among employers to hire older workers.

In light of the aging workforce and the projection of 12 million tourists visiting Taiwan by 2024, the industry is considering the integration of migrant workers. Lin Chi-wei, a specialist at the Employment Services Center of the Workforce Development Agency, MOL, highlighted this perspective. 

"Regarding the assessment of allowing the hiring of migrant workers in the sector, we will conduct a thorough report, including gender and ethnicity assessments. Afterward, we'll discuss it at our transnational labor conference," Lin said.

As Taiwan's tourism sector shows signs of revival, addressing the labor shortage becomes increasingly crucial. The Tourism Administration estimates that approximately 3,000 migrant workers may be needed initially to support the industry and maintain its growth trajectory.
 

The Taiwan Briefing

Taiwan Business

#Taiwan#hospitality industry#labor shortage#migrant workers#Tourism Administration#Directorate-General of Budgeting Accounting and Statistics#housekeeping#cleaning staff#workforce development#employment services
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