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

Unemployment rate remains at 2.8%


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July 18, 2019 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for April - June 2019) released today (July 18) by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in April - June 2019, same as that in March - May 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods.

Comparing April - June 2019 with March - May 2019, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied, with a relatively notable decrease observed in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector and a relatively notable increase in the accommodation services sector. Movements in the underemployment rates in different industry sectors also varied, but were generally small in magnitude.

Total employment increased by around 1,600 from 3,869,100 in March - May 2019 to 3,870,700 in April - June 2019. Over the same period, the labor force also increased by around 1,700 from 3,983,300 to 3,985,000.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) in April - June 2019 was 114,300, about the same as that in March - May 2019 (114,100). The number of underemployed persons increased by around 2,000 from 39,200 in March - May 2019 to 41 200 in April - June 2019.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, “The labor market stayed tight in April - June 2019. Both the unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) and the underemployment rate remained unchanged, at 2.8% and 1.0% respectively.

“The unemployment situation was broadly steady in most economic sectors. However, the unemployment rate in foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector has been generally rising over the past year notwithstanding the decrease in the latest three-month period, conceivably due to the completion of some major infrastructure projects. The unemployment rate in the import and export trade sector also increased visibly over a year earlier amid weaker trade flows.”

Looking ahead, Dr Law said, “The labor market is expected to remain largely stable in the near term. The Government will stay vigilant to how a softer economic environment and other unfavorable factors will affect the local labor market going forward.”

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