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Hong Kong Jobless Rate Highest In Over 3 Years

Hong Kong's jobless rate rose marginally during the November to January period to its highest level in over three years, the Census and Statistics Department said on Tuesday.

The jobless rate rose to 3.4 percent during the November to January period from 3.3 percent during the October to December period.

The latest unemployment rate was the highest in more than three years.

However, the number of unemployed persons decreased to 122,300 during the three months ended in January from 124,000 in the previous three months.

The number of employed persons declined by around 14,600 persons to 3.803 billion during the November to January period.

"The labor market slackened further as economic conditions stayed weak," the Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

The year-on-year decline in total employment widened noticeably further to 1.8 percent, the largest since the third quarter of 2003, the official noted.

This sharp fall in employment combined with a modest increase in unemployment rate suggested that some people may have chosen to leave the labor force when losing their jobs, Law added.

"The labor market will be subject to even more pressure in the near term, as the threat of the novel coronavirus infection has already caused severe disruptions to a wide range of economic activities lately, particularly the consumption- and tourism-related sectors," Law said.

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