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HK's unemployment rate rises to 3.4%

Updated: 2012-03-20 11:04


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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.2 percent in the November-January quarter to 3.4 percent in December-February, the city's Census & Statistics Department announced Monday.

Total employment increased by 13,800 people to 3,648,600 in December -February On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.4 percent. The underemployment rate stood at 1.5 percent.

Hong Kong Secretary for Labor & Welfare Matthew Cheung said given the uncertain external environment as well as less sanguine global economic outlook, the unemployment rate could face some upward pressure in the coming months.

"Since the implementation of the statutory minimum wage, the number of private-sector vacancies recorded by the Labor Department has stayed at a high level of over 3,000 per working day on average. This level has been maintained in March so far."

Increases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, warehousing and support activities for transportation and retail sectors.

As for the underemployment rate, increases were mainly seen in the construction sector while decreases were more apparent in the transportation and retail sectors.