Taiwan Jobless Rate Hit Record High in December

The unemployment rate in Taiwan in December hit a record high of 3.27 percent, pushed up by a wave of factory closures, a Taiwanese newspaper reported Sunday.

The month's jobless rate was the highest for month any since 1986, and the unemployment rate for the full year of 2000 averaged 2.99 percent, also a new high since 1978, the English newspaper Taiwan News cited the local authorities as saying.

Due to continuous restructuring by the island's industries and sluggish economic performance in the fourth quarter of last year, the labor demands of domestic manufacturers did not show an obvious increase, the newspaper said.

The last year's rate, equivalent to an average 290,000 out of work, was up from 2.92 percent a year earlier, it said.

People's Daily Online --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/