Taiwan’s 2014 unemployment at seven-year low

UNEMPLOYMENT in Taiwan fell to a seven-year low in 2014, indicating that the job market had stabilised as the economy improves, the government said Thursday.

The jobless rate sat at 3.96 percent at the end of the year, the lowest since touching 3.91 percent in 2007 and the first time it has been below 4.0 percent since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 pledging to boost the economy and employment.

The percentage of unemployed people aged between 15-24, hit hardest by a slowdown in the economy over the past few years, also improved to a three-year low of 12.63 percent from 13.17 percent in 2013, the the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said.

“Taiwan’s economy was stabilising and warming up so the number of employed people was growing and the job market was steady,” Lo Yi-ling, an official at the agency, said.

“We expect the employment situation to continue to improve as the economy is predicted to grow steadily in 2015,” she added.

Last year, Taiwan’s economic growth was buoyed by a steady recovery in developed countries as well as record-high exports and rising domestic consumption.

The trade-reliant economy expanded a better-than-expected 3.78 percent in July-September while full-year growth for 2014 is forecast to come it at 3.41 percent, which would be the island’s best 12 months since 2011.

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