Taiwan's jobless rate climbed to 5.81% in March from 5.75% in the preceding month, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said Wednesday. Economists expected the rate to come in at 5.8%. In March, the number of unemployed increased to 630,000 from 624,000 in February.

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons remained almost stable at 10.22 million in March. At the same time, the labor force increased to 10.85 million from 10.84 million in February.

In a separate report, the statistical office said the total non-agricultural payroll employment fell by 56,000 or 0.89% in February from the previous month. Year-on-year, the payroll employment declined 3.8% in February.

During the month, the average monthly earnings per employee in the industrial and service sectors stood at TWD41,417. This represents a 39.73% drop in earnings from January and a 30.49% fall from the previous year.

The number of hours of work totaled 163.6 hours in February, rising by 17.9 hours month-on-month and 16.9 hours from last year.

Labor productivity, in the manufacturing sector, was down 3.74% from January and fell 29.14% year-on-year.

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