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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Labor minister expects unemployment rate to climb in February

Labor minister expects unemployment rate to climb in February

Hong Kong's labor minister expected the city's unemployment rate to climb amid the worsening pandemic situation and hoped the “vaccine pass” measure could relax restrictions imposed upon businesses.
Speaking in an interview with local media, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said it would definitely bring an impact on the employment market if the pandemic situation further worsens.

Law said that the unemployment rate in February usually stands at a higher level due to the seasonal factors, adding that different sectors of the city have not been reviving under the same rhythm in the past year.

He pointed out that the government will relax certain restrictions imposed upon businesses through the “vaccine pass” measure and minimize the impact brought upon the employment market by the pandemic.

Regarding comments that advise Hong Kong to adopt the “live with Covid” strategy, Law said the city currently does not have any fitting prerequisite. He explained that the vaccination rate of elderly people has been staying at a low level and there will come grievous consequences if another outbreak hits the city.

On another note, Law responded to criticism that the government only offers assistance to business owners but not workers, and said providing subsidy to businesses directly could revive the economy in a faster and more flexible way.

He continued that that market may even recover slower by directly assisting workers as it takes time for bosses to rent a new place and recruit workers again, posing a greater risk to the economy.

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