Jobless rate hits 16-year high

Finance | Winnie Lee 21 Oct 2020

Hong Kong's unemployment rate hit a 16-year high of 6.4 percent in the third quarter of this year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 6.1 percent in June to August to 6.4 percent in July to September, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent in the two periods.

The number of unemployed persons increased by around 11,500 to 259,800 in July-September from June-August. The number of underemployed in July- September was 149,100, about the same as that in June-August with 149,200.

Total employment decreased by around 15,600 to 3.62 million in July-September from June-August while the labor force also fell by around 4,200 to 3.88 million.

Unemployment in consumption- and tourism-related sectors such as retail, accommodation and food services sectors combined surged by 0.8 percentage points to 11.7 percent in July-September, the highest since the onslaught of the SARS epidemic in 2003, while the underemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent.

The unemployment rate soared to 15.2 percent and the underemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent for food and beverage service activities while the unemployment rate stayed elevated at 10.9 percent and the underemployment rate maintained at 8.3 percent for the construction sector.

The unemployment situation in many other sectors deteriorated, particularly in the arts, entertainment and recreation fields.

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