Sat, Apr 22, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Unemployment rate continues to fall

AP AND AFP , TAIPEI

The jobless rate fell slightly to 3.87 percent last month, mostly due to a drop in the number of first-time job seekers, the government said yesterday.

In February, the unemployment rate stood at 3.92 percent. The figure for last month was also down from 4.15 percent a year earlier, said the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, last month's figure stood at 3.94 percent, compared to 3.95 percent the previous month and 4.22 percent a year earlier, the agency said.

The number of first-time job seekers last month fell 4,000 from February, but there were also fewer people who quit or lost seasonal or temporary employment last month than in the previous month, the agency said.

There were 404,000 people unemployed last month, 4,000 fewer than February, according to the agency.

The jobless rate has now remained below 4 percent for five consecutive months.

"Demand for labor has been steady amid a steady expansion of the economy," agency official Huang Jiann-jong (黃建中) said.

The eligible workforce for last month rose by 20,000 from a month ago and was up by 129,000 from a year earlier at 10.43 million, the agency said.

The unemployment rate for the first three months to last month averaged 3.86 percent, down 0.30 percentage points from a year earlier, it added.

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