Taiwan Jobless Rate Climbs as Europe Crisis Hits Exports

Taiwan’s jobless rate climbed for the second straight month in May as a growth slowdown in China and the European debt crisis hurt the export-dependent economy.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 4.25 percent from 4.19 percent in April, the statistics bureau said in Taipei today. That compares with the 4.2 percent median estimate of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Overseas sales make up about two-thirds of Taiwan’s economy, and export orders, an indication of shipments in the next one to three months, fell for the fifth time in six months in May, a report showed this week. The central bank kept interest rates unchanged yesterday to bolster growth after gross domestic product rose at the slowest pace since 2009 in the first quarter.

“We see a risk that unemployment may pick up in the next few months as new graduates join the labor pool,” Tony Phoo, a Taipei-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc., said before the data. “Local producers’ confidence may also be undermined by the fallout from the European debt crisis.”

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