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CLA struggles to reduce climbing unemployment rate

CLA struggles to reduce climbing unemployment rate

Taiwan's rising unemployment rate cannot be reversed without comprehensive economic development and growth, Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) Minister Wang Ju-hsuan said Monday.
The council launched a NT$3.7 billion package of new measures last week to boost the employment rate, but legislators suggested it would only have a short-term effect on the high unemployment rate, and Wang did not disagree.
"To solve the long-term unemployment problem in Taiwan, it is still necessary to expand domestic demand, ”Wang said at a Legislative Yuan committee hearing, stressing that the country's economic development needed to be strengthened to reverse existing trends.
President Ma Ying-jeou's administration launched an NT$58.3 billion program early this year to expand domestic demand that hopes to increase economic growth by 0.25 percent and create 56,000 jobs, but it is unclear if the plan has shown any tangible results amid an economic slowdown.
Wang said that even if the unemployment rate climbs from September's 4.27 percent to the historical high of 5.17 percent set in 2003, the Employment Insurance Fund's NT$102 billion is sufficient to protect workers' rights.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) also recently presented a plan to boost local employment, but as it was considered similar to the CLA's package of measures, Minister without Portfolio Tsai Hsun-hsiung suggested over the weekend that the MOEA encourage enterprises to replace foreign laborers with local workers.
About 35,000 foreign workers could be laid off if the plan is approved by the Executive Yuan, but Chen I-min, director-general of the Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training under the CLA, said the plan was still under discussion.
Among the NT$3.7 billion in employment-boosting measures announced by the CLA Friday, enterprises that hire a worker who has been unemployed for the previous three months can receive a monthly NT$10,000 subsidy per worker for up to six months.
The program hopes to fund the hiring of up to 10,000 workers by the end of the year.
Local government agencies will also be given subsidies for hiring underprivileged individuals to perform temporary jobs.
If the CLA's current measures do not make enough of an impact in creating jobs, the agency will consider expanding their scale, Chen said.
According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics under the Executive Yuan, the unemployment rate reached 4.27 percent in September, or more than 464,000 jobless people, the highest level in four years, as Taiwan's economy has felt the pinch of a global financial meltdown and economic recession in the key United States market.


Updated : 2020-12-04 20:03 GMT+08:00