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September jobless rate drops slightly from Aug.

Taiwan's unemployment rate stood at 4.28 percent in September, a decline of 0.17 percent from August, reported the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), yesterday.

The figure translated into 481,000 people who were without jobs last month, a decline of 21,000 from August.

Meanwhile, 10.75 million people were in the work force in September, a decline of 32,000 from August, due to workers withdrawing from summer or temporary jobs. On a year-on-year basis, however, the figure was an increase of 219,000 from September of 2010.

In September, unemployed people who were first-time jobseekers reduced by 7,000 from August, those who were dissatisfied with their jobs and quit reduced by 5,000, those who lost jobs due to the closure of seasonal or temporary businesses reduced by 4,000, and those who lost jobs due to a downsizing of businesses reduced by 2,000.

The 4.28 percent jobless rate was in fact better than expected, as the market had expected the figure to exceed 4.5 percent.

August jobless rate was 4.45 percent, just slightly shy of 4.5 percent.

Luo Wei, economist with Fubon Financial, had predicted that the European debt crisis and slowdown in the U.S. might produce an impact on the local jobs market. He had predicted that the September jobless rate would surpass that for August.

He also said that from now till the end of the year, unemployment rate may climb 0.05 to 0.1 percent each month. However, a rebound of the jobs market may happen at the year's end, as the government offers various incentives in the lead-up to the presidential election of Jan. 14.

Cheng Chen-mao, chief economist with Citibank Taiwan, had predicted that the September jobless rate might increase a bit from August, although the figure was unlikely to surpass 4.5 percent.

Chen Miao, researcher with the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, gave a more upbeat sentiment, saying Taiwan has solid fundamentals, which may help boost the jobs market during the fourth quarter.

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