Tue, Feb 25, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Taoyuan County at a draw for nation’s highest unemployment rate
桃園縣去年失業率4.3% 並列全國最高

Taoyuan City Mayor Su Chia-ming, center, hands out mooncakes at a homeless shelter in Taoyuan City on Sept. 25, 2012 before the arrival of Mid-Autumn Festival.
中秋節將屆,桃園市長蘇家明(中)二0一二年九月二十五日在桃園市一處遊民庇護所致贈月餅。

Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者李容萍

The unemployment rate in Taoyuan County remained at 4.3 percent last year, which is the same as the year before and the highest among Taiwan’s six special municipalities, putting it at a draw with Nantou County and Yilan County for the country’s highest unemployment rate. This is the fourth time since Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu took office four years ago that the municipality’s unemployment rate has exceeded the national average, drawing unified criticism for not improving the employment situation from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates who hope to run against Wu in the first mayoral election for Taoyuan County after it is elevated to the special municipality level at the end of the year. In response, the Taoyuan County Government Labor and Human Resources Bureau says it has drawn up several plans to resolve the unemployment issue.

Taoyuan County will be upgraded to a special municipality at the end of the year. In the past, the county boasted that it was a major industrial and commercial county, claiming that the county government provided more employment opportunities than any other county or city in the nation. According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor, however, only 950,000 of the county’s total workforce of 998,000 had jobs last year, putting the unemployment rate at 4.3 percent, which is 0.12 percentage points higher than the national average of 4.18 percent. Taoyuan County’s overall job market is performing worse than the country’s other five special municipalities and has one of the highest unemployment rates in all of Taiwan.

Since Wu became commissioner at the end of 2009, unemployment in Taoyuan County has been higher than the national average since 2010, giving DPP hopefuls Peng Shao-chin, Cheng Pao-ching and Cheng Wen-tsan an opportunity in the upcoming first mayoral election for Taoyuan as a special municipality to stand united in their critique of Wu, saying the unemployment rate serves as an indicator for public suffering. Under Wu’s leadership no great strides have been made toward attracting more businesses, and industries are unable to transform. Specific employment policies do not exist and the unemployment rate remains high, which is one reason the DPP candidates are calling on the public to use their vote in the year-end election to bring about change.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. criticism n.

批評 (pi1 ping2)

例: China has called the UN’s criticism of North Korea’s human rights abuses unreasonable.

(中國表示聯合國批評北韓侵犯人權無道理。)

2. hopeful n.

成功有望的人 (cheng2 gong1 you3 wang4 de5 ren2)

例: Who are the presidential hopefuls for the race in 2016?

(二0一六年總統選舉希望獲選的候選人是誰?)

3. stride n.

進展;進步 (jin4 zhan3; jin4 bu4)

例: The group has made great strides toward its goal of raising funds for orphans.

(這團體為孤兒募款大有進展。)


In response, Chien Hsiu-lien, head of the labor bureau, says that job opportunities in Taoyuan County significantly outnumber the amount of people looking for jobs, with three jobs available on average for every jobseeker. Most of the job openings, however, are in labor-intensive industries, which Chien says is a deterrent for most young people and also the reason why companies are forced to bring in foreign workers to fill the labor shortage. Taoyuan County’s 83,000 foreign workers pose an indirect threat to the nation’s indigenous workforce, Chien says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

桃園縣去年的失業率與前年平均相同,維持在百分之四點三,不僅是六都中失業率最高的,更與南投、宜蘭縣並列全國最高,這是吳志揚就職縣長四週年來,第四度高於全國平均值,也讓有意角逐首屆桃園直轄市長的民進黨競爭對手齊聲批評,就業問題始終沒有改善。對此,縣府勞動及人力資源局表示,已規劃多項方案要解決失業問題。

年底就要升格為直轄市的桃園縣,過去自詡為工商大縣,縣府提供的工作機會比其他縣市來得多,但依勞動部統計,桃園縣去年勞動力總人口約九十九萬八千人,其中九十五萬人有工作,全年平均失業率百分之四點三,較全國平均值百分之四點一八高出零點一二個百分點,且在就業表現上,不僅不如另五都,失業率更是全國最高地區之一。

以吳志揚二○○九年底就任縣長後,自二○一○年起到去年,失業率年年均高出全國平均值,讓民進黨有意角逐首屆桃園直轄市長的彭紹瑾、鄭寶清與鄭文燦齊聲批評,直指失業率是民眾感到痛苦的指標,但吳志揚執政以來,招商沒有大成果,產業也無法轉型,更提不出具體就業政策,失業率居高不下,呼籲選民年底用選票改變。

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