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Taiwan may be Asian tigers' most 'miserable'

Publication Date : 25-09-2012


The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday announced that the unemployment number in August rose to 4.4 per cent, pushing the misery index to as high as 7.82.

The misery index is calculated by adding inflation and the unemployment rate.

According to the DGBAS, the latest misery index numbers in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore were 4.8 in July, 3.9 in July, 4.3 in August and 7.3 in June, respectively — all lower than the 7.82 in Taiwan.

The Executive Yuan replied by presenting cross-country misery numbers in June. The misery number in Taiwan was 5.98, higher than 5.4 in South Korea but lower than 7.3 and 6.9 in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Although Taiwan is very likely to be the country with the highest misery number among the four Asian tigers and Japan, it is not yet a fact since most of those countries mentioned are yet to release data for August.

Department of Census Deputy Director Chen Min stated that the unemployment rate in August was 4.4 per cent, 0.09 per cent higher than that of last month and 0.05 per cent lower than that of last year.

The unemployment rate for people aged from 15 to 24 increased to 13.61 per cent, the highest this year.

Based on previous data, Chen expected that the number will go down in September, but she cautioned that it will still depend on the condition of the labour market.

Chen stated that students graduating from school and the economic downturn both contributed to the unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed due to contracting businesses increased from 1,000 people in July to 3,000 in August. Compared to the number during the financial crisis and after the Internet bubble burst — both in the tens of thousands — the number is relatively small.

According to the DGBAS, the main reason year-on-year inflation in August reached 3.42 per cent was extreme weather. Rising prices of oil, gas, eggs, milk, seafood and dining out also fuelled the price hike.


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