Fri, Jul 24, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Unemployment rate likely to surge over summer, GIO says

By Jenny W. hsu and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said yesterday that unemployment figures might surge over the summer as fresh college graduates join the job hunt, adding, however, that the government would do its best to fight unemployment.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said on Wednesday that unemployment hit a record 5.94 percent last month.

CONFIDENT

“We will urge the Council of Labor Affairs to continue monitoring the job market, while the Executive Yuan will continue to push for appropriate measures,” Su said.

Su said the government was confident the economy would improve by September, adding that it did not have any plans to issue another round of consumer vouchers.

At a separate setting yesterday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus accused the government of lying to the public about the state of the job market.

MANIPULATION?

The total number of unemployed people is at least 246,000 higher than the figure the DGBAS released on Wednesday — 994,000 — DPP Legislator Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) said.

Unemployment is actually 9.13 percent but the government is manipulating figures to keep the rate under 6 percent, Pan said.

One of the tricks used by the government was counting any person who works at least one hour a week as “employed,” Pan said.

Students who have opted to pursue a higher degree rather than be jobless and women who stay in the home because they can’t find jobs were also discounted from the unemployment rate, he said.

HIRING FREEZE

Chief operating officer of 1111 Job Bank Ryan Wu (吳睿穎) said last month he had toured job fairs held around the country and found that many companies were not only still not hiring, but were still in the process of trimming their payrolls to make ends meet.

Although major employers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Company had stopped asking employees to take unpaid leave, they were not hiring new staff, Wu said.

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