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

Unemployment Rate stood at 2.8%



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May 20, 2019 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for February - April 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 February - April 2019, same as that in January - March 2019. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.0% in the two periods.

Comparing February - April 2019 with January - March 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 4 600 from 3 860 400 in January - March 2019 to 3 865 000 in February - April 2019. Over the same period, the labor force also increased by around 6 500 from 3 970 800 to 3 977 300.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 1 900 from 110 400 in January - March 2019 to 112 300 in February - April 2019. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons decreased by around 900 from 38 900 to 38 000.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, Hong Kong Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr. Law Chi-kwong said, "The labor market stayed tight in February - April 2019, with the unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) and the underemployment rate remaining unchanged at 2.8% and 1.0% respectively."

"When compared to the preceding three-month period, movements in sectoral unemployment rates varied but were mostly small in magnitude. On a year-on-year basis, the unemployment situation improved in many major service sectors. In particular, the unemployment rate of the retail, accommodation and food services sector declined further on the back of sustained expansion in inbound tourism."

Looking ahead, Dr. Law said, "The labor market is expected to remain largely stable in the near term. Nevertheless, given the still challenging external environment, the Government will keep a close watch over development of the local labor market."

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