Brussels, Jan. 25 (CNA) The youth unemployment rate in Taiwan in July hit 13 percent, the second highest in East Asia, behind only Hong Kong's 15.1 percent recorded in June, according to a report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) this week.
In the "Global Employment Trends 2013" report released on Jan. 22, the ILO, the employment watchdog of the United Nations, said Taiwan's youth unemployment rate for the 15-24 age group in July was higher than the 9.6 percent registered by its rival South Korea in the same month.
The ILO's figure showed youth unemployment in Taiwan was much worse than the overall jobless situation in the country.
According to the statistics compiled by Taiwan's government, the local jobless rate in July stood at 4.25 percent.
For 2012 as a whole, Taiwan's overall unemployment rate was 4.24 percent, down 0.15 percentage points from a year earlier and the closest it has been to 4 percent since 2008, when the country's jobless rate was 4.14 percent.
As for the economy in East Asia, the ILO said it was impacted by various unfavorable global factors, including the lingering debt problems in the eurozone, which pushed up youth unemployment in 2012 by 0.3 percentage points to 9.5 percent.
More young men in East Asia were unemployed compared to young women. The report showed the jobless rate of male youth in East Asia in 2012 reached 11.2 percent, while unemployment for female youth in the region was 7.6 percent.
For East Asia as a whole, youth unemployment was also more severe than overall unemployment. The number of unemployed youth was 2.7 times that of the rate for older groups in the labor force.
In addition to the unsatisfactory employment data for youth in East Asia, the ILO said the overall job market conditions in the region was disappointing, adding that employment in the region for 2012 rose only 0.5 percentage points or about 4.5 million people from a year earlier.
Before the global financial crisis broke out, employment had risen 1.2 percentage points annually during the 2002-2007 period, the report sad.
Employment in Macau in mid-2012 meanwhile rose 4.9 percentage points from the the same period of 2011, compared with an increase of 2.7 percentage points in Hong Kong, a rise of 1.9 percentage points in South Korea, and an increase of 1.2 percentage points in Taiwan.
The report said employment growth in Taiwan and South Korea between 2012 and 2014 is expected to range between 0.5 percentage points and 1 percentage point.
(By Tsao Yu-fan and Frances Huang)