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Jobless rate stays at 3.5%

May 20, 2013
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5% in the February-April period, the same as that for January-March, while the underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.6%, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.
Increases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the retail, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services sectors, while decreases were mainly seen in the insurance, wholesale and construction sectors. 
For the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly observed in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector, while a decrease was mainly seen in the cleaning and similar activities sector.
The labour force increased by 1,000 to 3,851,700 during the period. The number of unemployed increased by 1,000 to 133,500. Over the same period, the number of underemployed increased by 700 to 61,800.
Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung said a new batch of fresh graduates and school leavers will enter the labour market in the coming months. Coupled with a still rather cautious hiring sentiment, there may be some pressure on the unemployment rate.
“Yet, the resilience of domestic demand should provide some cushion to the overall employment situation,” he said.