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Unemployment in Hong Kong drops to five-year low
2006-06-19 03:25:23 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONG KONG, June 19 (AP) -- Hong Kong's jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent -- its lowest level in almost five years -- as steady exports and robust domestic demand helped create more jobs, the government said Monday.

The March-May unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department said Monday, compared to 5.1 percent in the three months ending April.

The last time Hong Kong's unemployment rate was this low was before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S., when the unemployment rate for the three months up to August 2001 also fell at 4.9 percent.

The government said overall labor demand continued to rise as a result of the "sustained revival in economic activity" in Hong Kong.

Total employment increased by around 11,200 to an all-time high of 3.438 million from 3.427 million in the February-to-April period, while the labor force rose by about 5,600 to 3.613 million from 3.607 million in the previous three-month period.

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