Jobless rate climbs to 16-year high

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 6.3 percent in September - November 2020 to 6.6 percent in October - December 2020, the Census and Statistics Department said, a 16-year high.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4 percent in the two periods. Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said: "The labor market deteriorated again due to the fourth wave of local epidemic which started in the latter part of November.”

Comparing October - December 2020 with September - November 2020, the unemployment rate increased across almost all the major economic sectors, with a more distinct increase observed in the retail, accommodation and food services sector.

As to the underemployment rate, a decrease was mainly seen in the warehousing and support activities for the transportation sector while an increase was mainly observed in the retail sector.

Total employment decreased by around 2,400 from 3,650,100 in September - November 2020 to 3 647 700 in October - December 2020.

The labor force in October - December 2020 was 3,893,400, about the same as that in September - November 2020 of 3,894,400.

The number of unemployed, not seasonally adjusted, increased by around 1,500 from 244,300 in September - November 2020 to 245,800 in October - December 2020.

Over the same period, the number of underemployed also increased by around 700 from 133,100 to 133,800.