Taiwan's jobless rate falls to five-year low

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's jobless rate slid to a five-year low in 2013, but the figure indicates that the slowly growing economy has yet to fully recover from the global financial crisis, officials said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate last year stood at 4.18 per cent, down from 5.85 per cent in 2009 when the export-reliant economy was battered by the crisis which began in the second half of 2008.

The jobless rate fell to 4.39 per cent in 2011 but since then has edged down marginally.

"This indicates that the economy has yet to return to the pre-crisis levels," an official with the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics told AFP.

Hit hardest by the global sluggishness were employees aged between 15 and 24.

Statistics released by the budget agency showed that the unemployment rate for this age group remained at 13.17 per cent, little improvement on the record high of 14.49 touched in 2009.

"Just like many of their peers in other countries, local enterprises are reluctant to hire young employees without experience while the global economy still faces uncertainties ahead," the official said.