Ma’s online journal ends
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) weekly online journal will end this month in preparation for a more diversified platform on which Ma can interact with the public, Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said on Wednesday. The weekly online journal, which was launched in July 2009 during the global financial crisis and about 14 months after Ma took office in 2008, will have its final installment tomorrow, Fan Chiang said.
Vote on session date today
Legislators will vote today on a date for the opening of the new legislative session after failing to reach an agreement on the issue during cross-party negotiations. The latest negotiations on the matter became bogged down again yesterday after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) refused to yield to the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union’s demand (TSU) not to block a TSU proposal on a constitutional amendment. KMT legislative caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said a vote would be held this morning to resolve the issue of the session’s opening. The opening cannot be delayed further, as the Constitution clearly stipulates that the new session should begin this month, Lin said. Legislators will most likely convene on Feb. 24 for the new session, he said. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said the DPP was in favor of convening the session as soon as possible, Pan said.
Furloughs drop 41%
The number of workers on furlough has dropped by 41 percent to 6,959 in the past two weeks, according to statistics released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday. As of Wednesday, those workers from 73 companies had reached agreements with their employers to take unpaid leave, with 6,904 of them currently on furlough, according to the statistics. The number represented a decrease from Jan. 31, when 11,946 workers from 87 companies had agreed to furlough arrangements with their employers, with 11,891 of them on furlough at that time. The latest figure is the lowest since Nov. 15, and the first time since Dec. 15 that the number of such workers has dropped to below 10,000. The jobless rate fell to more than a three-year low of 4.18 percent in December last year, according to statistics released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.
Youth jobs data released
More than 16,000 people aged 20 to 25 who have less than one year’s work experience were hunting for their ideal jobs from June last year to the end of last month, according to an online survey released on Wednesday. The yes123 job bank said a total of 48,000 people in the age group were applying for jobs online during the period, about 30 percent of whom were unable to find any jobs or sent out job applications while employed. Recent graduates normally have difficulty competing in the job market because they have less experience, said the job bank’s public relations deputy manager, Yang Shun-chin (楊舜欽). On the other hand, small or medium-sized firms, despite offering generous employee benefits, have difficulty finding suitable candidates because young job seekers do not like to work for them, Yang said. Job seekers have also shown little interest in working in the flat panel, solar power, DRAM and LED sectors, which have reported massive losses recently, he said. Yang advised people to look for jobs based on their professional skills, personalities and interests.