Taiwan jobless rate spikes to 7-year high on virus curbs

Trainees learn how to build and operate an EUV machine at the training center at ASML Holding in Tainan,
FILE PHOTO: Trainees learn how to build and operate an EUV machine at the training center at ASML Holding in Tainan, Taiwan, August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang

July 6, 2021

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan reported on Tuesday its unemployment rate hit a more than seven-year high of 4.15% in May, when curbs began being imposed on the entertainment and hospitality sectors to help stop the spread of COVID-19 cases.

May’s jobless rate was the highest since October of 2013, when it hit 4.17%.

Taiwan raised its alert level in May to control a spike in infections, limiting personal gatherings, closing entertainment venues and stopping restaurants from offering anything but take out service.

However, case numbers are now declining, and the Cabinet said on Monday ministries and officials should make preparations to ease restrictions.

Despite the domestic coronavirus outbreak, export-reliant Taiwan’s key semiconductor industry has been largely unaffected.

(Reporting by Jeanny Kao; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)