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Chiayi City enjoying nation's lowest jobless rate thanks to tourism

TAIPEI -- A booming tourism industry in Chiayi City, fed mainly by visitors from China, has contributed greatly to the southern city's 3.9 percent unemployment rate for 2013, the lowest in the country, the city government said Wednesday.

The city was responding to data published that same day by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showing that Taiwan's unemployment rate was 4.2 percent for 2013, with Chiayi City registering the nation's lowest figure of 3.9 percent.

The number of tourists to the city in 2012 reached 1.12 million, a 47 percent growth from 2011, with 15 new hotels with 844 rooms added and a further 12 hotels under construction.

The city government said a sharp increase in the number of employees and the establishment of leading enterprises in the city has made the city's economy buck the national trend in growth terms.

According to statistics, Chiayi City's total corporate tax increased to over NT$1 billion (US$33 million) in 2012 from NT$610 million in 2005.

The city government has been successful in helping local industries to upgrade, differentiate their products and enhance their competitiveness while pushing old stores with local characteristics to build a new image. It has also been encouraging traditional industries to continue development and improve innovation, as well as research and development ability.

It said that three large employment fairs were held in Chiayi, Yunlin County and Tainan last year to match employers with employees. In one such fair last September, over 5,000 jobs provided by 90 companies were made available, while 3,600 resumes were submitted and a match rate of over 45 percent was registered, the city government added.

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