In the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of unemployed people, as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO), increased by 29,000 from the previous one, reaching a total of 2.3 million people. This is a significant increase compared to the same quarter in 2022 when the unemployment rate was at its lowest level since 1982. However, it remains below its peak in mid-2015 by three more points.
The unemployment rate for different age groups varied in the fourth quarter of 2023. For 15-24 year-olds, the rate decreased by 0.2 points from the previous quarter, while it increased slightly for those aged between 25 and 49 years old. The unemployment rate for those aged over 50 remained almost stable during this period. The unemployment rate for women barely decreased during this period, while that for men increased slightly.
Long-term unemployment rates are also increasing slightly, with an average of around 571,000 people declaring themselves to be unemployed and looking for work for over a year in the fourth quarter of 2023. This marks an increase of around 33,000 from the previous quarter’s long-term unemployment rate. As a result, the long-term unemployment rate increased very slightly to approximately 1.9% of the active population during this period. While it is higher than its level at the end of 2019 and lower than its level at the end of