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Hong Kong's jobless rate rises to 3.5 pct in Q1


07:46, April 19, 2013

HONG KONG, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.4 percent in December to February to 3.5 percent in January to March, the city's statistics department said here on Thursday.

The underemployment rate increased from 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent, and was mainly observed in the cleaning and similar activities, and accommodation and food services sectors. For the underemployment rate, increases were mainly seen in the postal and courier activities and construction sectors.

Secretary for Labor and Welfare department Matthew Cheung said the resilient domestic consumption and further growth of inbound tourism will continue to underpin labor demand, the employment situation going forward will hinge crucially on overall economic growth and the capacity of the corporate sector to create jobs.

The labor force in Hong Kong increased by 17,600 to 3,852,700 in January to March. The number of unemployed (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 9,400 to 132,500. Over the same period, the number of underemployed increased by 2,500 to 61,100.

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