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Unemployment benefit applications drop by over 40%: insurance bureau

Unemployment benefit applications drop by over 40%: insurance bureau

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell by more than 40 percent in 2011 compared with a year earlier, a sign that the job market seems to be emerging from the worst of the financial crisis that began in 2009, the Bureau of Labor Insurance (BLI) said Friday. Applications totaled 286,000, representing total claims of NT$5.9 billion (US$200 million), in 2011, a drop of more than 40 percent from the previous year, the BLI said, citing its latest data. Last year, applications peaked in August because of new graduates entering the job market, with new applications totaling 8,500 that month, the BLI said. For most of 2011, however, the number of applications saw no dramatic increase or decrease, the bureau said. The highest number of applications was seen in 2009, with total benefits of NT$20.8 billion handed out that year, more than triple the annual average of NT$5 billion, according to the BLI data. But the bureau said the economic outlook remains to be seen as the latest data for January this year reached 7,100 applications. Meanwhile, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week in the U.S. had dropped to the lowest in four years to 351,000, according to a report by the Associated Press. Liang Kuo-yuan, president of the Taipei-based Polaris Research Institute, said that fewer than 400,000 people seeking unemployment benefits in the United States signals a downward trend in unemployment. (By Wei Yun-lin and Ann Chen)


Updated : 2021-05-10 05:03 GMT+08:00