Taipei, May 27 (CNA) The government will expand its employment creation program to include another 135,000 short-term jobs, as part of its efforts to cut the unemployment rate to below 5 percent by the end of the year, Council of Labor Affairs Minister Wang Ju-hsuan said Thursday.
The latest package will cost NT$13.67 billion and will cover seven categories, Wang said, adding that this will be in addition to the 103,000 jobs that were opened up earlier.
The new program will subsidize the hiring of 20,000 individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and 30,000 internships for college and university graduates, she said at a news conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting.
According to the minister, these measures are necessary because Taiwan's job market remains bleak, with 593,000 people still out of work.
"We won't see the sun rise unless we introduce short and mid-term employment creation programs while it is still dark, " Wang said.
On the issue of structural unemployment, Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu said the problem is related to the relocation of the production lines of Taiwan businesses to China.
However, Taiwan's opening to Chinese investment since July 2009 is expected to help normalize the investment ties between the two sides and increase job opportunities in Taiwan, Liu said.
(By Lee Shu-hua and Y.F. Low)