According to the latest labour force statistics by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in October – December 2015, same as that in September – November 2015.

The underemployment rate increased from 1.3% in September – November 2015 to 1.4% in October – December 2015.

Although the overall unemployment rate is stable, warehousing and support activities for transportation sector has seen more people being put out of work, on the other hand employment in the information and communications sector has expanded.

As to the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly seen in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

Total employment increased by around 13,300 from 3, 790, 600 in September – November 2015 to 3, 803, 900 in October – December 2015.

Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 5, 800 from 3, 919, 700 to 3, 925, 500.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said the labour market has remained stable.

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“The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed at 3.3% for the sixth consecutive period. Both total employment and the labour force sustained modest year-on-year growth. For 2015 as a whole, both the labour force and total employment grew further by 1.3% , while the unemployment rate held stable at 3.3%,” he said.

On the short-term outlook,  Cheung said in view of the considerable downside risks to the near-term economic outlook, especially the sustained weak trend in inbound tourism, the department will stay vigilant and closely monitor developments.

These include, in particular, the employment situation of grassroots workers.

Cheung added the department will continue to organise job fairs of various scale, including three large-scale job fairs to be staged respectively in Cheung Sha Wan on March 3 and in Wai Chai on March 16 and 17.

District-based job fairs will continue to be held at 13 local job centres, while the other two industry-based recruitment centres will continue to facilitate catering and retail employers to conduct recruitment and interview job seekers on-the-spot.

Image: Shutterstock

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