Comparing the three months to August of 2016 with the previous period, unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 2 400 to 141 200. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also increased by around 400 to 55 900.
Movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. Increases were mainly seen in the professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar activities) sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the construction sector. As to the underemployment rate, increases were mainly observed in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector and the retail sector while decreases were mainly seen in the food and beverage service activities sector and the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector.
Total employment increased by around 5 400 from 3 811 400 in May - July 2016 to 3 816 800 in June - August 2016. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 7 700 from 3 950 300 to 3 958 000.
The near-term employment outlook is still clouded by the lingering external headwinds and their potential impact on local consumption and business sentiment.