Results of the Employment Survey for November 2008 – January 2009


According to the results of the Employment Survey released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), the unemployment rate for November 2008 - January 2009 was 3.4% and the underemployment rate was 1.8%, both went up by 0.1 percentage point over the previous period (October - December 2008). Total labour force was 337,000 in November 2008 - January 2009; the labour force participation rate stayed at 72.9%, same as that in the preceding period. The employed population was 326,000, down by 500 from the previous period, with decrease in the number of employed in Construction; Transport, Storage & Communications; Hotels; and Gaming sectors, while the number of employed in Restaurants & Similar Activities; and Wholesale & Retail registering an increase. The unemployed population was 11,000, an increase of 300 over the previous period. Among the unemployed, 15.4% (1,800) were fresh labour force entrants searching for their first job, down by 1.8 percentage points over the preceding period. In comparison with November 2007 - January 2008, the unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage point, and the underemployment rate and the labour force participation rate went up by 0.4 and 0.1 percentage point respectively. In line with the new Labour Relations Law, stipulating the minimum age of 16 for entering into an employment contract, DSEC raised the lower age boundary in defining the labour force from 14 years old to 16 years old; consequently, data in the text above are adjusted figures using the new age boundary. An analysis of past data series indicated that as the economically active persons aged 14 and 15 is small; therefore, adjusting the lower age boundary causes only minor changes to the unemployment and the underemployment rates. However, raising the age boundary in defining the labour force to 16 years old will exclude those aged 14 and 15, which will result in larger increment in the compilation of the labour force participation rate.



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