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Wed, Mar 13, 2002 - Page 18 News List

Joblessness worst in Keelung

DOWN AND OUT The nation's budget crunchers recently announced the latest unemployment figures, with the hardest hit areas in the south and northern high-tech areas expected to rebound soon


Keelung City had the nation's highest jobless rate in January at 5.58 percent, according to statistics released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The statistics show that the central country of Taichung and the southern county of Kaohsiung stood at second and third with 5.57 percent and 5.55 percent, respectively. Taipei County and Kaohsiung City were fourth and fifth with 5.53 percent and 5.42 percent.

Kaohsiung City entered the top five most-populous, worst-hit areas in terms of unemployment this year, according to figures for last December.

The nationwide economic slump caused a further deterioration in the job market over the past year in major cities and counties, DGBAS officials said.

But high-tech strongholds, such as Hsinchu City in northern Taiwan, will rebound from the recession earlier, officials said, adding that Hsinchu's unemployment dropped from a peak of 5.7 percent in October last year to the current level of 5.38 percent.

In January, southern Taiwan registered the highest jobless rate of 5.19 percent, followed by central Taiwan with 5.16 percent, and northern and eastern Taiwan with 5.10 percent and 4.95 percent.

Unemployment rates in 17 of Taiwan's 23 cities and counties were above 5 percent in January, while the percentages in southern Chiayi and Tainan counties fell to 4.95 percent and 4.82 percent, respectively.

The officials warned that the situation in northern Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties may worsen in the future as a result of a drought which has forced approximately 14,000 hectares of farmland to be left fallow.

Nationwide figures:

* The nation's highest jobless rate was recorded in Keelung City at 5.58 percent in January.

* Taichung County and Kaohsiung County registered second and third highest, with 5.57 percent and 5.55 percent, respectively.

* Regionally, southern Taiwan had the highest rate of joblessness with 5.19 percent, followed by central Taiwan (5.16 percent) and northern and eastern Taiwan with 5.10 percent and 4.95 percent, respectively.

Source: CNA

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