About 52 percent of workers in the SAR believe their salaries will be frozen this year while wage cuts are a worry for 20 percent, a survey by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has found.
Of 677 respondents polled between November 21 and December 30, 46 percent said they worried about a pay cut, being laid off or their company closing. And only 28 percent thought they might get a pay rise.
Over 80 percent of the unemployed said they had been out of work for more than six months - a sharp increase of 22.3 percent compared with the number in March.
And around three quarters of the respondents said they continued to lack confidence about finding a job.
"Although the overall environment has improved what's worth emphasizing is that the unemployment situation is deteriorating," Legislative Council member Frankie Ngan Man-yu said.
The relaxation of Covid
measures failed to boost confidence in employment and consumption, with only 39 percent of respondents spending more money and 46 percent more confident of finding a job.
A poor global economic performance, sluggish stock and property markets and inflation were contributing factors cited.
Fifty-two percent said that official support for workers or the self-employed was inadequate after the pandemic started three years ago.
The DAB noted there had been several employment schemes launched, "but they directly benefited companies and employers instead of employees."
It suggested officials should evaluate the necessity of importing foreign labor in some industries and strengthen local employment training in others.