Pedestrians cross a street in Central, Hong Kong on July 24, 2022. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong’s jobless rate recorded a three-and-a-half-year low, signaling the city’s economic recovery.
Data released by the Census and Statistics Department on Thursday showed Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 3 percent during February to April, compared to the period from January to March.
The unemployment rate has declined for 12 straight months. The figure was 5.4 percent from February to April last year.
The unemployment rate of the retail sector held steady at 3.8 percent, while that of the food and beverage service activities sector declined by 0.1 percentage points to 4.8 percent
However, the underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2 percent in the two periods.
Hong Kong saw a modest uptick in total employment from February to April, with numbers increasing by around 1,800 individuals from 3,654,100 in the previous period to 3,655,900.
Over the same period, the labor force rose by around 1,100 from 3,769,200 to 3,770,300.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Chris Sun Yuk-han said, “The labour market continued to improve as domestic economic activities revived further and visitor arrivals rebounded strongly.”
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“The labour market should improve further in the coming months alongside the ongoing economic recovery,” he added.
The number of unemployed people declined by around 700 from 115,100 in January to March to 114,400 in the February to April period. Meanwhile, the number of underemployed people decreased by around 2,200 from 46,700 to 44,500.
Analyzed by sector and compared with the preceding three-month period, the combined unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors, such as retail, accommodation and food services, remained unchanged at 4.2 percent from February to April.
Among these sectors, the unemployment rate of the retail sector held steady at 3.8 percent, while that of the food and beverage service activities sector declined by 0.1 percentage points to 4.8 percent.
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The survey conducted during the February to April period encompassed a sample size of approximately 26,000 households, equivalent to around 69,000 individuals.