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



Unemployment eases to 6.3%

 



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December 17, 2020 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for September - November 2020) released today (December 17) by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly from 6.4% in August - October 2020 to 6.3% in September - November 2020. The underemployment rate also decreased from 3.8% in August - October 2020 to 3.4% in September - November 2020.

Comparing September - November 2020 with August - October 2020, among the various major economic sectors, more distinct decreases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were observed in the retail, accommodation and food services sector; education sector; and art, entertainment and recreation sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the construction sector; retail, accommodation and food services sector; and transportation sector.

Total employment increased by around 22,400 from 3,627,700 in August - October 2020 to 3,650,100 in September - November 2020. Over the same period, the labor force also increased by around 8,900 from 3,885,500 to 3,894,400.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 13,500 from 257,800 in August - October 2020 to 244,300 in September - November 2020. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 14,900 from 148,000 to 133,100.

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, “Labor market conditions remained weak in September - November 2020, though showing some marginal improvement amid the stabilization of the third wave of local epidemic during the period. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point from August - October 2020 to 6.3% in September - November 2020, and the underemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage point to 3.4%. Meanwhile, total employment increased by 0.6% over the preceding three-month period, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 5.2% to 244 300.”

“Analyzed by sector, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (viz. retail, accommodation and food services sectors) combined declined somewhat by 1.1 percentage points from August - October 2020 to 10.1% in September - November 2020. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities fell from 14.8% to 13.1%. The unemployment situation in many other sectors also improved, particularly in the education sector and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.”

Looking ahead, Dr Law said, “Given the fourth wave of local epidemic of late, the pressure on the labour market is likely to increase again in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely, and roll out targeted measures to support the hard-hit sectors as and when necessary.”


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