The job market would remain under pressure in the short term but if coronavirus epidemic is brought under control through vaccinations, it may gradually recover in the second half, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, told the Legislative Council today
“In the longer run, changes in consumption behaviors or business models caused by the coronavirus
disease epidemic may affect the local labor market,'' he said.
The epidemic may speed up adoption of innovation and technology in daily lives and business operations, such as online shopping, remote work and distance business, which may lead to changes in demand for talents for different jobs.
“The government will monitor relevant developments closely and provide additional support and assistance as necessary, including enhancements in training, re-training, and job-matching,'' he said.
He said that in 2020, total jobs fell by 5.1 percent to 3.65 million.
The labor force declined by 2.2 percent to 3.88 million.
In the whole year, the unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent, an increase of 3 percentage points over 2019.
Sectors related to consumption and tourism, such as retail, accommodation and food services, were impacted in particular. The unemployment rate of these sectors as a whole was 10 percent on average in 2020. The unemployment rates of other major sectors also increased in 2020, Law said.