Taiwan's Unemployment may Hit Record High

Unemployment rate in the Taiwan region -- already plagued by the global economic slump -- may hit a new high of 5.0 percent in July as graduates began their search for jobs, a report said Sunday.

The unemployment rate in June hit a new high of 4.51 percent, up from the previous high of 4.22 percent in May and up sharply from 2.89 percent a year earlier, a local daily said.

The daily said the jobless rate might break 5.0 percent in July as the economy showed no sign of recovery, compounded by tens of thousands of graduates seeking jobs for the first time.

The region's economy shrank a worse than expected 2.35 percent in the second quarter and is now expected to decline for the first time ever over the full year, local government said Friday.

The paper forecast the rate in July would rise by at least 0.3 percentage point, given past records.

The official jobless rate is due to be released on Thursday.

More than 3,100 Taiwanese factories closed in the six months to June as the economy continued to flounder. This was up 55.3 percent from a year earlier. The total population affected by rising joblessness has topped one million for the first time.

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