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HR & EDUCATION | Cesar Tordesillas, Hong Kong
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Hong Kong's 2nd quarter unemployment rate at 3.5%

Hong Kong's unemployment rate stood at 3.5% in the April-June period, same as that in March-May, according to the figures released by the Census & Statistics Department.

On the other hand, underemployment rate fell from 1.9% to 1.8%.
 
Decreases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the construction and insurance sectors, while increases were more apparent in the wholesale, and accommodation and food services sectors.
 
As for the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the construction sector.
 
Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung said: "Total employment further increased notably by about 10,100 to a new record high of 3,610,600 in April-June.”
 
Over the same period, the labour force rose by 12,100 to 3,747,400. The new jobs created helped absorb most of the additional workforce, so the number of unemployed rose by only 1,900 during the period.
 
Since April, the number of new private-sector vacancies recorded by the Labour Department has stayed at 3,000 per working day on average, and the level has been maintained so far this month.
 
In June the number of private-sector vacancies the department posted was up 11.6% to 73,582, and up 20% over the same period last year.
 
Mr Cheung said in the next few months, the labour supply will continue to be affected by the entry of a new batch of fresh graduates and school leavers and job-seekers induced by the statutory minimum wage's implementation.
 
The extent to which these newcomers will be absorbed into employment will hinge on the number of new jobs created against the background of a vibrant economy, he added.
 
“However, some elements of uncertainty remain in our external economic environment, in particular the Eurozone debt crisis and weak economic growth in the US. We will remain vigilant and closely monitor development.”

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