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


Unemployment rises to 6.4%

 



For more information, please contact

Melissa Ng in New York City: (212) 752 3320
Wing Yan Tong in San Francisco: (415) 835 9315

Daniel McAtee in Washington, D.C.: (202) 238 6360




October 20, 2020 - According to the latest labor force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for July - September 2020) released today by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 6.1% in June - August 2020 to 6.4% in July - September 2020. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8% in the two periods.

Comparing July - September 2020 with June - August 2020, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) increased across almost all the major economic sectors, with more distinct increases observed in the retail, accommodation and food services sector; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the transportation sector and education sector, while increases were mainly observed in the food and beverage service activities sector; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

Total employment decreased by around 15,600 from 3,640,400 in June - August 2020 to 3,624,800 in July - September 2020. Over the same period, the labor force also decreased by around 4,200 from 3,888,800 to 3,884,600.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 11,500 from 248,300 in June - August 2020 to 259,800 in July - September 2020. The number of underemployed persons in July - September 2020 was 149,100, about the same as that in June - August 2020 (149,200).

Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, “The labor market deteriorated for the third quarter of 2020 as a whole amid the third wave of the local epidemic, particularly in July and August, but the pressure faced by the labor market showed signs of stabilization towards the end of the quarter as the local epidemic situation abated in September. Meanwhile, the Employment Support Scheme continued to provide support. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.3 percentage point from June - August 2020 to 6.4% in July - September 2020, the highest in close to 16 years, while the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8%. The year-on-year decline in total employment widened to 5.8%, while that in labor force remained at 2.1%.”

“Analyzed by sector, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (viz. retail, accommodation and food services sectors) combined surged by 0.8 percentage point from June - August 2020 to 11.7% in July - September 2020, the highest since the onslaught of SARS, while the underemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3%. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate and the underemployment rate for food and beverage service activities soared to 15.2% and 9.5% respectively. The unemployment rate and the underemployment rate of the construction sector stayed elevated at 10.9% and 8.3% respectively. Meanwhile, the unemployment situation in many other sectors deteriorated, particularly in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.”

Looking ahead, Dr Law said, “As the overall economic situation remains weak and the global pandemic is still evolving, the labor market will remain under pressure in the near term. The Government has rolled out relief measures of unprecedented scale, including a series of measures on job retention and job creation, which help keep workers in employment. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.”


2020 © | Important notices       Privacy policy      Accessibility                                                                                                                                                    Last Revision Date: October 20, 2020

 

Web For All W3C Web Accessibility initiative    
This website adopts web accessibility design and conforms to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA standard. Should you have any enquiries or comments on its accessibility, please contact us by phone or email.