Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Jan 29, 2023

Hong Kong’s jobless rate falls to 3.7 per cent in seventh straight decline

Hong Kong’s jobless rate falls to 3.7 per cent in seventh straight decline

Near-term labour market outlook depends on pace of revival in domestic economic activity, labour chief Chris Sun says.

Hong Kong’s jobless rate has dropped to 3.7 per cent, marking the seventh consecutive decline this year, amid the city’s further easing of coronavirus restrictions and the continued benefit of a consumption voucher scheme.

The unemployment rate was down by 0.1 percentage point in the rolling period from September to November, compared with 3.8 per cent for the three months ending in October, according to provisional figures released by the Census and Statistics Department on Friday. Total employment grew by about 8,400 to 3,657,000 for the latest three-month stretch.

After hitting a one-year high of 5.4 per cent in the February to April period, the jobless rate has now fallen for the seventh consecutive time, marking the lowest figure since 3.4 per cent was recorded in the three-month stretch ending January 2020.


The Labour Department holds a jobs fair in October.

The underemployment rate for the September to November period also dropped by 0.1 percentage point to 1.6 per cent. The number of underemployed fell by 3,700 to 59,700, while the number of jobless declined by 8,500 to 138,900.

The jobless rate dropped across almost all major sectors, with a notable decrease in the construction sector. The unemployment rate for the food and drinks industry fell by 0.3 percentage point to 5.1 per cent, while that of the retail sector declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5 per cent.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said the near-term outlook for the labour market depended on the pace of revival in domestic economic activity.

“The further relaxation of epidemic-related measures and the consumption voucher scheme also help, but tightened financial conditions will partly offset the positive effects,” he said. “It remains vital for the community to work together with the government to continue to contain the epidemic.”

Vouchers were first introduced last year in a bid to boost the city’s economy, with each eligible resident receiving e-coupons worth HK$5,000 (US$640). The second iteration of the scheme doubled the amount but split the handouts into two batches, the first of which was issued in April.

The government announced in September an end to the compulsory hotel quarantine requirement for incoming travellers to the city, who still had to undergo three days of medical surveillance at home or in a hotel. Arrivals were barred from entering certain premises during the period until Wednesday, when officials ended the “0+3” regime.

Simon Lee Siu-po, an economist and honorary fellow at the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business at Chinese University, said a major improvement in the city’s job market would only occur after the full reopening of the border with mainland China.

“The labour market seems to have hit a bottleneck now without drastic stimulus measures,” Lee said. “Only when the border reopening kicks off we will see more jobs.”

The Post earlier reported that the border between Hong Kong and the mainland was expected to fully reopen next month, as Beijing was keen to reboot the country’s economy.

Gary Ng Cheuk-yan, a senior economist at Natixis Corporate and Investment Bank, said he also expected to see the unemployment rate fall to at least 3.3 per cent in the first half of next year after the border reopening.

“Whether the jobless rate will hit 3 per cent by the end of next year will hinge on the pace of the city’s economic revival in 2023, especially the tourism-related sectors which will bring in a lot of jobs,” Ng said.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
Chinese Revenge Travelers Will Steer Clear of a Hostile US
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
2023 Will Be the Year of the Electric SUV
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
×