Preliminary estimates showed in the third quarter of 2015, the jobless rate for residents rose to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent in the June quarter. The rate for citizens also increased to 3.1 from 2.9 percent.
Layoffs fell for the third consecutive quarter. Some 2,900 workers were made redundant in the September quarter, down from 3,250 in the preceding quarter and 3,500 in the third quarter last year. The decline was mainly due to fewer laid off in services (1,800 from 2,100) and manufacturing (800 from 870) while that in construction increased (300 from 230).
Overall employment grew by 16,400 in the third quarter of 2015, accelerating from the preceding quarter (9,700) but slower than a year ago (33,400). Services employment grew faster than the previous quarter (17,000). Construction employed 3,800 more workers, slowing from the previous quarter (7,600) amid moderating demand in private sector construction activities but it was similar to a year ago (3,700). In contrast, employment in manufacturing contracted for the fourth consecutive months (-4,300), reflecting weaker demand in the sector. The rate of decline was largely unchanged from the preceding quarter (-4,400), but was a reversal from the slight increase a year ago (500).
There were 3,644,000 persons in employment in September 2015, an increase of 1.7 percent from a year ago but lower than a 2.2 percent rise in June 2015.