In the third quarter of 2015, citizen unemployment rose to 3.1 percent from 2.9 percent in the previous quarter and resident unemployment increased to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent.
Total employment grew by 12,600, higher than the preceding quarter (-9,700), but remained significantly lower than the growth of the same quarter a year ago (33,400). Cumulatively for the first three quarters of this year, total employment grew by 16,200, the lowest growth since 2009. This brought total employment to 3,640,100 in September 2015, 1.6 percent higher than a year ago but slower than the 2.2 percent pace in June 2015. The employment gains in the third quarter of 2015 were mainly driven by services (13,300), especially in community, social & personal services 3 (5,700), professional services (4,400), financial & insurance (2,600) and information & communications (2,100). However, wholesale & retail trade (-2,300) and real estate services (-500) continued to cut back on employment though at a slower pace as compared to the preceding quarter.
Some 3,460 workers were laid off, up from 3,240 workers in the June quarter but similar to the third quarter of 2014 (3,500).
The rate of re-entry into employment was broadly unchanged, following a decline in two straight quarters. About 55 percent of residents made redundant in the second quarter of 2015 secured employment by September 2015, similar to the previous cohort (laid off in the first quarter of 2015) in June 2015.
Job vacancies decreased over the quarter by 11.0 percent to 55,600 in September 2015. This was the third consecutive quarter of decline after hitting the high of 65,500 in December 2014. Vacancies declined across industries, including manufacturing (-2,400), retail trade (-1,500), community, social & personal services (-1,400), wholesale trade (-700), administrative & support services (-600) and transportation & storage (-500). The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons declined to 116 openings per 100 job seekers in September 2015 from 121 in June 2015, comparable to June 2013.