Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Unemployment rate down

STAFF WRITER

The unemployment rate declined 0.19 percentage points to 4.31 percent last month, with the number of people out of work dropped by 18,000 people to 443,000, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said in a statement yesterday.

The latest figure is the lowest monthly jobless rate since May 2001, when it was 4.22 percent.

After seasonal adjustments, the jobless rate was 4.22 percent last month, down 0.13 percentage points from September, the agency said.

The decline was caused by fewer businesses closing last month, leading to a lower number of layoffs, according to the agency. In addition, more people remained in their current jobs because of improved job satisfaction, it said.

Last month's figure of 4.31 percent compared favorably to Germany's unemployment rate of 10.1 percent, France's 9.9 percent, Canada's 7.1 percent, Hong Kong's 6.7 percent, the US' 5.5 percent, Japan's 4.6 percent and Singa-pore's 4.5 percent, according to the statement.

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