In the three months to September, the unemployment rate remained broadly similar among residents residents (2.9 percent from 3.0 percent in June) and citizens (3.0 percent to 3.1 percent).
Total employment contracted by 2,700, following slower growth in the past two quarters. It was the first decline since the March quarter of 2015, primarily due to contractions in manufacturing (-3,600) and construction (-5,300). In contrast, employment went up in services (+6,300).
Some 4,220 workers were made redundant, down from 4,800 workers in the second quarter but higher than a year ago (3,460). By sector, redundancies fell in manufacturing and services but edged up in construction. The bulk of redundancies were from services (59 percent), mainly in professional services (16 percent), financial services (15 percent) and wholesale trade (10 percent).
About 49 percent of residents made redundant in the June quarter of 2016 secured employment by September 2016, edging up from 45.0 percent in the previous quarter), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59 percent).
Job vacancies increased slightly over the quarter to 50,800 from 49,400 in June, but remained lower than the same period last year (56,500). The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons continued to edge lower to 91 job openings per 100 job seekers in September 2016, from 93 in June 2016.
The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate trended down for the second consecutive quarter to 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, resignation rate held steady at 1.8 percent, similar to the first two quarters of this year.
Considering the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest growth since 2009 (100). Meanwhile, layoffs was higher across the broad sectors.