HONG KONG UNEMPLOYMENT AT 3.2 PERCENT

HONG KONG UNEMPLOYMENT AT 3.2 PERCENT

Hong Kong's provisional unemployment rate for May-July rose to 3.2 percent

from a seasonally adjusted April-June rate of 3.1 percent, the government's Census and Statistics Department said last week in a statement.

During the May-July period, the underemployment rate stood at 2.3 percent, up from a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.1 percent in April-June, it said.A government spokesman said the rise in the jobless rate was seen mostly in retail, restaurant, hotel and transport. However, a drop was recorded in construction.

However, an increase of 2.7 percent in total employment during the period was still notable and signified that there was ongoing demand for labor within Hong Kong's economy, the spokesman said.

The total labor supply grew by 4.1 percent in April-June from the same period a year earlier. The spokesman said this was distinctly faster than the growth in total employment and was therefore a contributing factor in the higher unemployment rate.