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HK’s jobless rate rises to 5%, 3-year high

Posted on: March 17, 2009


AP – Wednesday, March 18

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government warned Tuesday the territory’s unemployment would keep rising as the latest jobless rate hit its highest in nearly three years.

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose to 5 percent for the December-February period _ up from 4.6 percent during the November-January period, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

Total number of people who were out of jobs during the period was 171,900, the department said.

The unemployment rate is at its highest since the February-April period in 2006, said Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung.

The official added the authorities expected Hong Kong’s unemployment rate to surge in the coming months as the territory is not immune to the impact of the global financial turmoil.

“Because of the global financial crisis and economic downtown, the labor demand remains weak,” Cheung told reporters.

Sectors that saw the biggest job losses during the three-month period include construction, transport, import or export trade, manufacturing and restaurants.

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