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Unemployment falls to two-year low of 3.66% (update)

2017/06/22 13:26:30

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Taiwan's unemployment rate fell 0.01 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.66 percent in May, the lowest level in two years, according to government data released Thursday.

The May figure was down 0.18 percentage points compared with the same month of last year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

The DGBAS said that after seasonal adjustments, the latest jobless rate was up 0.01 percentage points from a month earlier at 3.79 percent.

There were 431,000 workers without jobs in May, 1,000, or 0.23 percent, fewer than in April, the data shows.

Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said that the latest job data shows that the local job market remained stable at a time when the domestic economy has been on the road to recovery.

Pan said that the May unemployment rate was the lowest level since May 2015, when the jobless rate stood at 3.62 percent.

Taiwan's economy has been boosted by improved exports amid growing global demand, with outbound sales accounting for about 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

The DGBAS has raised its forecast for Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 2.05 percent from an earlier estimate of 1.92 percent.

In May, the number of people who lost their jobs due to business closures, downsizing, or termination of seasonal and temporary job contracts fell about 2,000 from a month earlier, while the number of first-time jobseekers fell by 1,000 month-on-month.

Unemployment in the 15-24 age group stood at 11.49 percent, the highest among all age groups in Taiwan, while the jobless rate in the 25-29 age bracket reached 6.53 percent, the DGBAS said.

In terms of education levels, the DGBAS said, the jobless rate among people with a college degree or higher for May stood at 3.92 percent, down from 3.95 percent in April, the DGBAS said.

The DGBAS said that the labor participation rate in Taiwan for May remained unchanged from a month earlier at 58.70 percent, while the number of those who were employed rose 6,000, or 0.05 percent, from a month earlier to 11.33 million.

Last month, the number of people employed in the service sector, which accounted for 59.31 percent of the total employed, rose 6,000, or 0.09 percentage points, from April, while the number of those employed in the industrial sector accounted for 35.79 percent of the total, without change from a month earlier, and the number of those employed in the agriculture sector fell 1,000, or 0.16 percent, the DGBAS said.

In the first five months of this year, Taiwan's jobless rate averaged 3.75 percent, down 0.13 percentage points from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

During the five-month period, the labor participation rate averaged 58.73 percent, up 0.08 percentage points from a year earlier, with the number of employed at 11.32 million, up 0.70 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS added.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)
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