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HK's jobless rate down to 3.3 pct in April-June


18:08, July 18, 2013

HONG KONG, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of Hong Kong was 3.3 percent in the April-June period, down from the 3.4 percent in March to May, while the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.6 percent, the city's Census & Statistics Department announced on Thursday.

Decreases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the warehousing and support activities for transportation, decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, and food and beverage service activities sectors.

As for the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly observed in the transportation sector, while a decrease was mainly seen in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector.

The labor force increased by 7,500 to 3,877,200 during the period. The number of unemployed decreased by 2,100 to 132,100. Over the same period, the number of underemployed decreased by 1,800 to 61,400.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, Hong Kong's Secretary for Labor & Welfare Matthew Cheung said the labor market remained tight in the second quarter due to the prevailing strength on the domestic front.

"Total employment grew further to another record high, more than absorbing the concurrent expansion in the labor force," he said.

On the short-term outlook, Cheung said labor demand is likely to stay firm on the back of a resilient domestic sector, thereby helping to keep the unemployment rate at a relatively low level in the near term.

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