Hong Kong unemployment rises to 3.4pc

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 7:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 9:23pm

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.4 per cent in the three months from August to October as the economic slowdown continued, the government said on Monday.

The latest seasonally adjusted jobless rate was up from 3.3 per cent in the July-September period, the Census and Statistics Department said.

However, the under-unemployment rate – which measures the number of people who cannot find at least 35 hours of work a week – fell from 1.6 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Most of the job losses during the recent three-month period were in the accommodation services, transport and construction sectors.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said employers had become more cautious about hiring in recent months amid continued slow economic growth.

The euro zone’s debt crisis and the so-called fiscal cliff that looms in the United States had added uncertainties to the economic prospects, he said.

“As such, there might be further upward pressure on the unemployment rate in the period ahead,” he said.

Cheung said he expects an upturn in hiring during the year-end festive season, when business usually picks up.


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