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

Unemployment rate remains at 2.8%


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June 19, 2019 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for March - May 2019) 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 March - May 2019, same as that in February - April 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods.

Comparing March - May 2019 with February - April 2019, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) and underemployment rate in different industry sectors varied, but were generally small in magnitude.

Total employment increased by around 4,100 from 3,865,000 in February - April 2019 to 3,869,100 in March - May 2019. Over the same period, the labor force also increased by around 5,900 from 3,977,300 to 3,983,200.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 1,800 from 112,300 in February - April 2019 to 114,100 in March - May 2019. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also increased by around 1,200 from 38,000 to 39,200.

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

“When compared to the preceding three-month period, movements in sectoral unemployment rates varied but were generally small in magnitude. On a year-on-year basis, there was a noticeable increase in unemployment rate in foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector, conceivably related to the completion of some major infrastructural projects. Meanwhile, the unemployment situation was broadly steady in most other major economic sectors.”

Looking ahead, Dr Law said, “The labor market is expected to remain largely stable in the near term. Yet, the Government will stay vigilant and monitor the situation closely in view of the various external headwinds facing the economy.”

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