In the three months to September, the jobless rate inched higher for both residents (3.2 percent vs 3.1 percent in Q2) and citizens (3.3 percent vs 3.2 percent).
Total employment (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) grew by 22,400, the most since 2014, higher than in the previous quarter (6,200) and a year ago (16,700). This was largely due to 16,100 more people finding work in the services sector, compared to 5,400 in the previous quarter and 13,800 a year ago. Community, social & personal services, professional services, and information & communications led the employment growth in the third quarter of 2019, while sectors such as wholesale & retail trade registered smaller declines over the quarter. Employment in manufacturing also increased (1,200) after three consecutive quarters of decline, though the growth was lower than a year ago (3,500).
Some 2,900 workers were laid off, up from the preceding quarter (2,320), but remained comparable to a year ago (2,860). Retrenchments rose in manufacturing, construction and services over the quarter. Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments (66 percent), followed by manufacturing (21 percent) and construction (14 percent).