Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Unemployment rate marks a nine-month high in July


The nation's jobless rate rose to a nine-month high of 4.05 percent last month, mainly because of college graduates entering the job market, the government said yesterday.

The figure was the highest monthly number since the 4.07 percent recorded in October last year, said the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), the government's statistics agency.

The high jobless rate, low starting salaries offered by companies and rising consumer prices, have concerned many college graduates this year, Ryan Wu (吳睿穎), spokesman for 1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行), said in a statement yesterday.

Positions that opened for college graduates that require no experience included software and IC design engineers, sales rep-resentatives, financial consultants and others in the high-tech and banking industries, Wu said, citing the company's database.

The unemployment rate stood at 3.98 percent in June.

For the first seven months of the year, the unemployment rate averaged 3.89 percent, down from 4.17 percent a year earlier, it added.

The DGBAS recorded 428,000 unemployed people last month, a rise of 10,000 from June.

About 17,000 first-time job seekers who failed to find jobs and 3,000 workers whose seasonal or temporary job contracts ended were major contributors to the increase, it said.

These were offset by a drop in the number of people who became unemployed owing to dissatisfaction with their previous jobs, which fell by 6,000 people, and in the number of those who lost their jobs due to business closures or cutbacks, which fell by 3,000 people, it said.

The DGBAS said that last month the eligible workforce rose by 71,000 from the month before and had increased by 172,000 from a year earlier, to 10.56 million.

The labor participation ratio for last month was 58.12 percent, up 0.33 percentage points month-on-month and up 0.25 percentage points from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, The nation's jobless rate was 3.88 percent last month, down from 3.94 percent in June, the directorate said.

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