Hong Kong's unemployment rate rises to 3.3 percent
Hong Kong's unemployment rate increased to 3.3 percent in the period between October and December 2019, with the unemployment rate of consumption and tourism-related sectors staying at a three-year high of 5.2 percent, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Monday.
Hong Kong's unemployment rate once hit a record low in more than 20 years when it dropped to 2.8 percent in February-April 2019. In recent months, however, as Hong Kong's economy was dragged down by prolonged unrest, the unemployment figure has been climbing continuously.
According to the latest labor force statistics released Monday by the HKSAR government's Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October-December rose by 0.1 percentage point compared to the September-November period, while the underemployment rate remained at 1.2 percent.
In the October-December period, total employment dropped by 12,800 to 3,817,800, and the labor force decreased by 14,200 to 3,941,800.
The HKSAR government's Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the labor market slackened further as economic conditions stayed weak.
The unemployment rate of the consumption and tourism-related segment of retail, accommodation and food services sectors stayed at a three-year high of 5.2 percent, Law pointed out.
The underemployment rate of these sectors rose visibly when compared to the preceding period, particularly for those working in food and beverage service activities.
The unemployment rate of the construction sector also deteriorated visibly.
"The labor market will be subject to even more pressure in the near term if the overall economy stays weak. The government will monitor the developments closely," Law added.