Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release

Unemployment rate stood at 2.8%


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December 18, 2018 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for September - November 2018) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government,  the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in September - November 2018, same as that in August - October 2018. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.

Comparing September - November 2018 with August - October 2018, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) and underemployment rate in different industry sectors varied, but were generally small in magnitude.

Total employment decreased by around 5 400 from 3 872 600 in August - October 2018 to 3 867 200 in September - November 2018. Over the same period, the labor force also decreased by around 10 600 from 3 988 600 to 3 978 000.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 5 200 from 116 000 in August - October 2018 to 110 800 in September - November 2018. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 800 from 46 700 to 45 900.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, said, "The labor market remained tight in September - November 2018, with the unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) and the underemployment rate holding steady at 2.8% and 1.2% respectively. Total employment continued to record solid growth on a year-on-year basis."

"When compared to the preceding three-month period, movements in unemployment rates varied across sectors, but were generally small in magnitude. The unemployment situation in most of the major service sectors showed improvements on a year-on-year basis. In particular, the unemployment rates of the retail, accommodation and food services sectors decreased visibly from a year earlier on the back of resilient local consumption demand and the strong performance of inbound tourism."

Looking ahead, Dr Law said, "The labor market will likely remain tight in the near term. Yet, the employment outlook further down the road will hinge on the impacts of the various external headwinds on the local economy. The Government will stay vigilant and monitor the situation closely."

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