Sun, Jan 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Nation’s youth jobless rate No. 2 in Asia: ILO report

Staff writer, with CNA, Brussels

Taiwan’s youth unemployment rate hit 13 percent in July last year, the second-highest monthly youth unemployment rate in East Asia that year, behind only Hong Kong’s 15.1 percent recorded in June, according to a report released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) this week.

In the Global Employment Trends 2013 report released on Tuesday, the ILO, the employment watchdog of the UN, showed that Taiwan’s youth unemployment rate for the 15 to 24 age group in July last year was much higher than the 9.6 percent registered by its economic rival South Korea in the same month.

The ILO’s figure showed youth unemployment in Taiwan was much worse than the overall jobless situation in the country. According to the statistics compiled by the government, the overall jobless rate in July last year stood at 4.25 percent.

For last year as a whole, the overall unemployment rate stood at 4.24 percent, down 0.15 percentage points from a year earlier and the closest it has been to 4 percent since 2008, when the country’s jobless rate was 4.14 percent.

As for the economy in East Asia, the ILO said it was affected by various unfavorable global factors, including the lingering debt problems in the eurozone, which pushed up youth unemployment last year by 0.3 percentage points to 9.5 percent.

More young men in East Asia were unemployed than young women.

The report showed the jobless rate among male youth in East Asia last year reached 11.2 percent, while unemployment for female youth in the region was 7.6 percent.

For East Asia as a whole, youth unemployment was also more severe than overall unemployment. The rate of unemployed youth was 2.7 times that of older people.

In addition to the unsatisfactory employment data for youth in East Asia, the ILO said the overall job market conditions in the region were disappointing, adding that employment in the region for last year rose only 0.5 percentage points, or about 4.5 million people, from a year earlier.

Before the global financial crisis broke out, employment had risen 1.2 percentage points annually from 2002 to 2007, the report said.

Employment in Macau in the middle of last year rose 4.9 percentage points from the the same period of 2011, compared with an increase of 2.7 percentage points in Hong Kong, a rise of 1.9 percentage points in South Korea and an increase of 1.2 percentage points in Taiwan.

The report said employment growth in Taiwan and South Korea from last year to next year is expected to range between 0.5 percentage points and 1 percentage point.

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