HONG KONG, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's jobless rate increased to 3.4 percent in November 2012 to January 2013, from 3.3 percent in October to December 2012, the city's Census and Statistics Department announced on Thursday.
Total employment increased by around 16,400 from 3,689,600 in October to December 2012 to 3,706,000 in November 2012 to January 2013. In the same period, the labor force also increased by around 19,900 from 3,806,600 to 3,826,500.
The rise in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the postal and courier activities sector, wholesale sector, and foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector.
Commenting on the figures, Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung said that total employment expanded notably to another record high of 3,706,000, partly reflecting a seasonal upsurge in labor demand during the recent festive period.
"On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 3.4 percent," he added.
He noted that youth employment has continued to improve as the jobless rate for youths aged 15 to 24 went down by 0.8 percentage point to 6.9 percent during the same period.
On the short-term outlook, Cheung said the latest business tendency survey results indicated that overall business sentiment remains rather cautious amid the uncertainties in the external environment.
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