Hong Kong jobless rate steady at 3.3 pct in Dec-Feb

March 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong unemployment data:

* HK jobless rate steady at 3.3 pct for December-February

* December-February underemployment at 1.2 percent vs 1.3

percent in November-January

KEY DATA

UNEMPLOYMENT UNDEREMPLOYMENT

(PCT) (PCT)

Dec-Feb 3.3 1.2

Nov-Jan 3.3 1.3

Oct-Dec 3.3 1.4

Sep-Nov 3.3 1.4

Aug-Oct 3.4 1.4

Jul-Sep 3.4 1.4

Jun-Aug 3.4 1.4

May-Jul 3.4 1.4

Apr-Jun 3.4 1.4

Mar-May 3.4 1.4

Feb-Apr 3.4 1.4

Jan-Mar 3.4 1.4

* = provisional

KEY POINTS:

** The government has forecast 2017 GDP to rise 2-3 percent.

COMMENTARY

"The labour market stayed resilient in December 2016 -

February 2017," said Stephen Sui, Secretary for Labour and

Welfare. "On a year-on-year comparison, both total employment

and the labour force picked up somewhat in growth."

"Alongside the relative improvement of inbound tourism and

the usually more buoyant business activities during the festive

period, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and

tourism-related segment edged down by 0.1 percentage point over

the preceding period to 4.8 percent in December 2016 - February

2017," Sui said.

"The labour market will likely remain tight in the near

term. We will, however, stay vigilant and monitor the potential

impacts of various external uncertainties on the local economy

and employment situation closely," Sui added, commenting on the

short-term outlook.

LINKS:

To view the full details of the unemployment data, see the

Hong Kong government website http://bit.ly/2mvZrOu

To read more on the Hong Kong economy, double click on

.

For all Asian economic data on Thursday, please click

.

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG; Editing by Jacqueline

Wong)