The unemployment rate increase for residents in 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014 from to 2.7 percent in the previous quarter, and increased to 3.0 percent for citizens from 2.8 percent, reflect increased job search activity as more residents, especially the less educated, were encouraged to enter the labour force, given more job openings and an increase in wages.
The long-term unemployment rate stayed low at 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014. There were 12,900 residents who had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks in the first quarter of 2014, down from 13,700 a year earlier.
Total employment grew by 28,300 in the first quarter of 2014, lower than the seasonally high increase of 40,600 in the last quarter of 2013 but broadly comparable to the 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013. This brought total employment to 3,552,200 in March of 2014, which was 4.0 percent higher than a year ago. This year-on-year rate of growth in total employment is similar to the 4.1 percent growth a quarter ago.