Mon, Feb 02, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Premier Liu asks ministries for help on unemployment

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) last night held a cross-agency meeting seeking a solution to the climbing unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate soared to 5.03 percent in December, its highest level since October 2003 and marking the first time in five years that the monthly unemployment rate had topped 5 percent.

An Executive Yuan official, who wished to remain anonymous, was quoted in a report yesterday as saying that the purpose of the meeting was for each ministry to offer ideas on how to solve the problem. Among the participants at the meeting were members of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council of Labor Affairs.

The official said Liu would make a full report to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) today if the meeting came up with anything concrete, adding that Liu was monitoring the global financial crisis and the job situation closely.

The official said Liu believed the real peak of unemployment was yet to come, despite the fact the rate was more than 5 percent in December, and that Liu predicted unemployment would hit a high after the Lunar New Year break and urged the ministries to quickly come up with ideas.

A recent report by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said the number of unemployed people in the country totaled 549,000 in December.

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