Labour secretary warns 'recent tightened financial conditions' may pose 'some constraints'
Hong Kong's unemployment rate slipped to 4.1% in the June to August period, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department on Monday, showing further signs of the labour market's continuous improvement. The latest jobless rate is 0.2% lower than the 4.3% recorded in the period between May and July 2022, as the number of unemployed persons went down to around 161,900.
According to the department, almost all major economic sectors saw a decrease in unemployment rate, with "more distinct decreases" in the decoration, repair, and maintenance for buildings sector; and arts, entertainment, and recreation sector.
Hong Kong's underemployment rate also saw a decline to 2% in the June to August period from the previous 2.2%. The decoration, repair, and maintenance for buildings sector; food and beverage service activities sector; education sector; and arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, reported the most decreases, said the Census and Statistics Department.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's total employment increased by around 16,200 in the June to August period, while the labour force went up by 9,900.
Labour Secretary Chris Sun said the statistics showed that the "labour market continued to improve," and is expected to improve much more in the future.
"The labour market should improve further in the near term with the extent of improvement largely depending on the performance of domestic economic activities," said the secretary in a statement.
However, Sun warned that the pandemic and "recent financial conditions" may affect the current market. "The Consumption Voucher Scheme should continue to support local consumption demand, yet the recent tightened financial conditions may pose some constraints," he said. "Moreover, the development of the local epidemic may also have bearings on economic activities and thus the labour market. It is therefore crucial for the community to continue to work in unison with the government to bring the epidemic under control."
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Vacancies in the private sector
Other data released by the Census and Statistics Department also showed an average of 110,141 vacancies from the private sector monthly. This is a year-on-year increase 14.2%, it noted.
To help more people get into jobs, the Labour Department announced that it will organise a Job Fair for Middle-aged and Elderly Employment on September 22 and 23. The large-scale job fair expects the participation of more than 50 employers, according to the department, and jobseekers may use online platforms to find more vacancy information.