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HK's Jobless Rate Falls to 3.2%
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2012-2-22-
Title: HK's Jobless Rate Falls to 3.2%
Release Date: Feb.22, 2012
Keyword: jobless rate, HK, fall

Hong Kong's unemployment rate fell from 3.3 percent in October-December to 3.2 percent in November-January, the city's Census & Statistics Department announced Tuesday.

The underemployment rate increased from 1.4 percent in October- December to 1.5 percent in November-January, according to the statistics released by the department.

Hong Kong's Secretary for Labor & Welfare Matthew Cheung said labor demand continued to increase due to vibrant business activity in the run-up to the Lunar New Year.

Total employment rose by about 15,900 to a record high of 3,634,800 in the workforce in November-January. The number of unemployed fell to 111,800, the lowest level since early 2008.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.2 percent, signifying a state of full employment.

Cheung noted the jobless rate for those aged 15-24 went down 0. 4 percentage point to 7.5 percent. Within this group, the unemployment rate for those aged 15-19 fell to 10 percent, while the unemployment rate for those aged 20-24 dropped to 7.1 percent.

"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 2012 so far," he said.

"As business activity tends to abate after the Lunar New Year holidays and it is customary for employers to review their staffing positions at the beginning of the year, labor demand would likely weaken in the near term.

"Moreover, Hong Kong's export outlook is bleak in the near term as the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis continues to overshadow the global economy. As such, the unemployment rate could face some upward pressure in the coming months," he said.

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