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Jobless rate nudges up to 3.3%

October 18, 2012
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 3.2% in June-August to 3.3% in July-September, while the underemployment rate fell from 1.7% to 1.6%, the Census & Statistics Department announces.
Increases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the insurance, manufacturing and retail sectors. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the construction, and food and beverage service activities sectors.
Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung said total employment declined for the second consecutive month by around 12,400, to 3,658,900 in July-September.
"Nevertheless, as this was largely offset by a concurrent decline in the labour force, the number of unemployed persons rose only by around 1,300 to 132,900. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went up slightly by 0.1% to 3.3%," he said.
He added the employment outlook would become more uncertain amid more cautious hiring sentiment and the moderation in domestic demand in recent months. "The downside risks in the external environment would also overshadow the Hong Kong economy.  As such, there might be some upward pressure on the unemployment rate in the coming months."