Hong Kong's unemployment rate hits 16-year high at 6.4 pc

UNEMPLOYMENT in Hong Kong has surged to a nearly 16-year high of 6

21 October 2020 - 19:00
UNEMPLOYMENT in Hong Kong has surged to a nearly 16-year high of 6.4 per cent as the city continues to feel the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The jobless rate rose 0.3 percentage points for the three months to September, while the number of jobless people increased by about 11,500 to 259,800. The underemployment rate remained steady at 3.8 per cent, affecting 149,200 workers.

Tourism was the hardest hit and the government warned that although the labour market had recently shown signs of stabilising, it would remain under pressure.

Unemployment in the retail, accommodation and food services sectors rose by 0.8 percentage point to 11.7 per cent, which is the highest since the onslaught of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, while their underemployment rate inched up by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 per cent.

The quarterly jobless rate is the highest since December 2004.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the employment situation worsened as a whole due to the third wave of the epidemic, which started in early July, the SCMP reported.

Looking ahead, the minister predicted that as the economy remained weak and the global Covid-19 situation continued to evolve, employment levels would remain under strain in the near term.

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