Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan joblessness rate fell to 5.65% last month

NEW JOBS Taiwan’s largest chipmaker said it would hire 2,400 full-time employees to replace contract workers, while AU Optronics plans to build two new LCD plants

By Chinmei Sung  /  BLOOMBERG

The unemployment rate in Taiwan fell for a sixth consecutive month as exporters hired more people to meet increased international demand for the nation’s products.

The seasonally adjusted rate fell to 5.65 percent from 5.73 percent in January, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics reported in Taipei yesterday.

That compares with a median estimate of 5.67 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of seven economists. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is negotiating a trade accord with China that will cut import duties on Taiwanese goods in the world’s fastest-growing major economy and help cement Taiwan’s recovery. Taiwan exited its deepest recession on record in the fourth quarter last year and Ma said last month the proposed accord would attract foreign investment and create jobs.

“The steady recovery in the economy is helping the job market,” said Tony Phoo (符銘財), a ­Taipei-based economist at Standard Chartered PLC. “We are seeing mass hiring plans from both the public and the private sectors, so the jobless rate will definitely fall from last year’s record-high level.”

The number of unemployed declined to 623,000 last month from 631,000 in January. Without adjusting for seasonal factors, that represents an unemployment rate of 5.76 percent compared with 5.68 percent in January.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the nation’s biggest company by market value, said on March 11 it would hire 2,400 full-time employees to replace contract workers, in addition to the 3,000 engineers it plans to take on this year.

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Taiwan’s second-largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, said last week it plans to build two plants in central Taiwan to make panels for televisions after announcing plans to hire 2,500 new employees this year.

Taiwan’s export orders, an indication of shipments over the next one to three months, rose 36.25 percent last month, the fifth consecutive monthly increase, as the global recovery fuels demand for computers, mobile phones and television screens, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said last week.

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