In Focus
HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Fears escalate as unemployment rises to 3.4% in November

And if you’re planning to look for a job, you may not be in luck as employers stay cautious towards recruitment.

According to a release, the unemployment rate increased from 3.3% in August-October to 3.4% in September-November, the Census & Statistics Department announced.

The underemployment rate fell from 1.6% to 1.5%.

Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung said the total employment rose by about 11,000 to reach a new record high of 3,651,100 in September-November, partly because of a seasonal rise in labour demand towards the year-end.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 3.4%.

“In face of a more uncertain external environment stemming from the evolving Euro Zone sovereign debt crisis and fragile fundamentals of the advanced economies, employers generally tend to stay cautious towards recruitment,” he said.

“Nevertheless, the prevailing strength of domestic demand and inbound tourism should render some cushion to upward pressure on the overall unemployment rate in the near term, especially with the seasonal surge in consumption in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.”

He said since the implementation of the statutory minimum wage, the number of private-sector vacancies recorded by the Labour Department has stayed at a high level of more than 3,000 per working day on average, and this level has been maintained in December so far.

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