Sat, Jun 23, 2018 - Page 12 News List

May unemployment edges down to lowest since 2001

Staff writer

The nation’s unemployment rate fell from 3.64 percent in April to 3.63 percent last month as the number of first-time job seekers declined by 1,000 and the number of seasonal workers fell by 1,000, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The figure for last month, down 0.03 percentage points from a year earlier, was the lowest rate in three years, DGBAS data showed.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate was 3.69 percent last month, flat from the previous month, but down 0.09 percentage points from a year earlier, the agency said in a statement on its Web site.

By age, unemployment was highest among people aged 20 to 24 at 11.54 percent, followed by those aged 15 to 19 at 8.26 percent and 6.28 percent for those aged 25 to 29, it said.

University graduates had the highest unemployment rate at 4.95 percent, followed by high-school graduates at 3.55 percent and people with graduate degrees at 2.86 percent, it added.

Unemployment in the first five months of this year averaged 3.65 percent, compared with 3.75 percent in the same period last year, and was the lowest May figure since 2001, the agency said.

As companies hired more workers to cope with rising demand, the number of unemployed people fell from 431,000 in April to 430,000 last month, it said.

The eligible workforce stood at 11.411 million people for last month, up by 5,000, or 0.04 percent, from April and an increase of 80,000, or 0.7 percent, from a year earlier, DGBAS data showed.

For the first five months of the year, the workforce averaged 11.405 million people, up 86,000, or 0.76 percent, from the same period a year earlier, indicating stable growth momentum in the domestic labor market, the agency said.

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