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Unemployment rate falls for last three months
18
Mar '08
According to the latest labour force statistics released March 18 by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.4% in November 2007 - January 2008 to 3.3% (provisional figure) in December 2007 - February 2008, the lowest level since January - March 1998. Over the same period, the underemployment rate edged down from 2.1% to 1.9% (provisional figure).

Comparing December 2007 - February 2008 with November 2007 - January 2008, decreases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were mainly observed in the insurance, welfare and community services, amusement and recreational services, and restaurants sectors. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the construction, amusement and recreational services, and hotels sectors.

Total employment decreased by around 10 200, from 3 550 500 in November 2007 - January 2008 to 3 540 300 (provisional figure) in December 2007 - February 2008. Over the same period, the labour force decreased by around 11 600, from 3 663 900 to 3 652 300 (provisional figure).

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 1 400, from 113 400 in November 2007 - January 2008 to 112 000 (provisional figure) in December 2007 - February 2008. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 6 700, from 75 500 to 68 800 (provisional figure).

Commentary:
Welcoming the continued decline in the unemployment rate, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, noted that the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.3% and the underemployment rate of 1.9% were the lowest levels in ten years. The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) fell further to 112 000.

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