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Labour market remains robust in Oct-Dec
17
Jan '08
According to the latest labour force statistics released January 17 by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.6% in September – November 2007 to 3.4% (provisional figure) in October – December 2007, the lowest level since January – March 1998. Over the same period, the underemployment rate edged down from 2.2% to 2.1% (provisional figure).

Comparing October – December 2007 with September – November 2007, decreases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were mainly observed in the communications, manufacturing, and decoration and maintenance sectors. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the amusement and recreational services, decoration and maintenance, and retail trade sectors.

Total employment increased by around 25 700, from 3 507 600 in September – November 2007 to an all-time high of 3 533 300 (provisional figure) in October – December 2007. Over the same period, the labour force increased by around 15 900, from 3 635 200 to 3 651 100 (provisional figure).

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 9 900, from 127 700 in September – November 2007 to 117 800 (provisional figure) in October – December 2007. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 4 800, from 80 200 to 75 400 (provisional figure).

Commentary:
The labour market remained robust in October – December 2007, with total employment surging to another record high of over 3.53 million and posting a faster increase than the labour force. The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) thus declined further to below 120 000. Concurrently, the underemployment situation also improved.

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