Jobless figure unchanged

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2000, 12:00am

The unemployment rate has remained steady at 4.9 per cent despite an influx of school leavers on to the job market, government figures revealed yesterday.

The seasonally adjusted figure for the June-August period was the same as May-July. The Census and Statistics Department said more jobs were created in the decoration and maintenance, restaurant, import/export, financing and insurance sectors. There were fewer in real estate and business services.

The underemployment rate fell from three per cent to 2.8 per cent, with the decreases occurring mainly in the construction and personal services sectors.

The size of the labour force reached 3,386,000 in June-August, up from 3,380,200 in May-July. The number of employed people increased from 3,207,700 to 3,213,000.

A total of 172,400 were unemployed, down just 400, while the number of underemployed people fell 6,100 to 96,000.

The Government said the figures reflected the continuing economic recovery, given the influx of graduates and school leavers on to the labour market.

Graduates and school leavers were increasingly being absorbed into the workforce, a government spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Labour Department's Local Employment Services achieved a total of 5,100 placements in August, an increase of 24 per cent over the same month last year.

The number of vacancies registered with the services increased by 31 per cent over the same period.