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Jan. jobless rate lowest in nearly 5 years

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's unemployment rate in January was pegged at 4.02 percent, down 0.06 percent from the previous month and 0.14 percent from a year ago, the lowest rate since July 2008, according to the latest job market report released by the Directorate-general of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), yesterday. After taking seasonal factors into consideration, the jobless rate was pegged at 4.07 percent.

About 462,000 people were jobless in January, down 7,000 from December of last year. The number of first-time job seekers dropped by 6,000 in the month, and the number of unemployed people who did not like their previous jobs also dropped 3,000.

However, the number of people unemployed due to seasonal factors or the end of temporary jobs climbed by 2,000. The number of unemployed people as a result of business contraction also grew 1,000.

The job market improved overall last year, with the number of employed people totaling 7,008,000, growing 1.3 percent year-on-year. About 20,000 more jobs were added to the retail and wholesale sector, 18,000 jobs were added to the manufacturing sector and 12,000 jobs added to the medical and health service sector.

Young People and Those with Higher Education Degrees

Unemployment rates dropped among younger workers and those with higher education degrees, DGBAS officials said.

The unemployment rate of those aged between 20 and 24 was 13.18 percent in January, down 0.48 percent from December and 0.04 percent from a year ago. The unemployment rate of those aged between 25 and 29 were 6.84 percent in January, down 0.19 percent from December and 0.06 percent from a year ago.

The unemployment rate for those with college or higher education degrees in January was pegged at 4.9 percent, down 0.13 percent from December and 0.23 percent from a year ago.

Unemployment Rates in Other Nations

Taiwan has a low unemployment rate compared to other Asian countries. The unemployment rates in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore were pegged at 3.7 percent, 3.1 percent, 3 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.

Unemployment rates are also higher across western countries. The rates in France, Britain, Canada, the U.S. and Germany were pegged at 10.8 percent, 7.2 percent, 7 percent, 6.6 percent and 5.1 percent respectively.

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