HK jobless ranks rise to 2.9pc, retail and food beverage sectors hit

Local | 19 Aug 2019 6:39 pm

Hong Kong's jobless rate increased by a percentage point to 2.9 percent in the three months to July and job losses increased retail as well as the food and beverage sector.

The jobless ranks, which had been steady for months since March last year, increased from 2.8 percent in April to June, the Census and Statistics Department, reported today.

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare,  Law Chi-kwong said, the labor situation in most sectors remained largely stable. "Yet, as the consumption market stayed soft, the unemployment rate of the retail, accommodation and food services sectors taken together went up from the preceding three-month period. Also, the import and export trade sector has been facing increasing pressure amid shrinking trade flows, with the unemployment rate generally on the rise since early this year."

The number of unemployed increased by about  4,200 from 114,300 in April to June to 118,500 in May to July. The number of underemployed in May to July was 40,700, about the same as that in April to June, or 41,200).

The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1 percent.

Total employment fell by about 3.30 million from 3.87 million in April to June to 3.86 million in May to July. 

The labour force in May to July was 3.98 million, about the same as that in April to June.
An increase in the jobless rate came following second quarter data that showed that Hong Kong's economy slowed to 0.5 percent on-year, declining from the first quarter's 0.6 percent growth.

The data was announced a day after the Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po rolled out a HK$19.1 billion package of measures to soften the blows that the economy has been taking as a result of mainly external factors.


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