Wed, Dec 23, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Unemployment rate little changed

Staff writer, with CNA

The unemployment rate stood at 3.91 percent last month, up 0.01 percentage points from a month earlier, government statistics showed yesterday.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said the month-on-month increase in last month’s jobless rate largely reflected a slowdown in the economy, which prompted many enterprises in the manufacturing sector to cut working hours.

The unemployment rate last month was the highest since October last year, when it hit 3.95 percent, but the second-lowest level for November after it dropped to 3.89 percent last year, the DGBAS said.

After seasonal adjustments, the jobless rate showed a 0.05 percentage point increase to 3.84 percent compared with November last year.

Last month, the DGBAS cut its economic growth forecast for this year from 1.56 percent to 1.06 percent, citing poor export performance.

However, several think tanks have said that the economy is unlikely to grow by 1 percent this year.

Last month, the number of people who lost their jobs rose 2,000 from a month earlier to 457,000, the data showed.

The number who lost their jobs due to business closures or downsizing increased by 3,000 from the previous month, while job losses attributed to the expiration of temporary contracts rose 1,000 month-on-month, the statistics showed.

However, the DGBAS said the number of first-time job seekers dropped last month by 2,000 from the previous month, while the number of workers who quit because they were unhappy with their jobs fell by 1,000.

The jobless rate in the 15-to-24 age bracket stood at 12.3 percent last month, the highest among the age groups, while in the 25-to-44 age group it was 4.04 percent and in the 45-to-64 age bracket 2.12 percent, the DGBAS said.

It said that unemployment among people with college degrees or higher stood at 4.26 percent last month, and among those with university degrees or higher at 4.88 percent.

The data showed a 0.09 percent monthly growth in the number of people who were in employment to 11.24 million, an increase of 10,000, and a labor participation rate of 58.74 percent, up 0.01 percentage points from October.

In the first 11 months of the year, the unemployment rate averaged 3.77 percent, down 0.2 percentage points year-on-year and the lowest level in 15 years, the DGBAS said.

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