Preliminary estimates showed the number of unemployed persons increased to 72,200 in the first quarter of 2014, higher than 64,400 in the previous period. Unemployment rate of residents rose from 2.7 to 2.9 percent, while that of citizens rose from 2.8 to 3.0 percent in the first quarter.
Total employment grew by 24,900 in the first quarter of 2014, lower than the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the fourth quarter of 2013. The increase was also lower than the 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013.
There were 3,518,700 persons in employment in March of 2014. This was 3.9 percent higher than a year ago. This rate of increase over the year was lower than the 4.1 percent in December of 2013.
Layoffs declined, after rising in the preceding quarter. Some 2,900 workers were made redundant in the first quarter of 2014. This was lower than the 3,660 workers affected in the preceding quarter, but higher than the 2,120 laid off in the first quarter of 2013.