A man reads a newspaper while sitting on a promenade that runs along Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Dec 14, 2020.
(ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
HONG KONG – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage point to 5.5 percent for the period between April and June compared to the period from March to May, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced on Tuesday.
According to the HKSAR government's Census and Statistics Department, the underemployment rate also dropped to 2.5 percent during the period.
The combined unemployment rate of the consumption and tourism-related sectors, including retail, accommodation and food services sectors, fell by 0.8 percentage points to 8.5 percent
“The labor market showed further improvement as the economy continued to recover alongside the stabilization of local epidemic situation and the improved external environment,” Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said in a government statement.
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Total employment rose by about 9,700 to 3,640,100 while the labor force fell by about 10,600 to 3,853,100.
There were 213,100 unemployed people from April to June, a drop of around 20,200 from the preceding three-month period. The number of underemployed people also fell by around 11,400 to 96,000.
Analyzed by sector, the unemployment rates of most economic sectors fell compared with the preceding three-month period. The combined unemployment rate of the consumption and tourism-related sectors, including retail, accommodation and food services sectors, fell by 0.8 percentage points to 8.5 percent. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate of food and beverage service activities fell by 1.3 percentage points to 10 percent.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rates of the construction sector, the import/export trade and wholesale sector, and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector also showed a notable decline.
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"The labor market should improve further with the continued economic recovery. The Consumption Voucher Scheme will also help,” Law said.
To create a solid foundation for a full-fledged revival of economic activities and a continued recovery of the labor market, Law said it is essential for the community to actively participate in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. He added that the government will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Some 2.85 million people, or about 41.9 percent of Hong Kong’s eligible population, have taken at least one shot of the vaccines, and more than 2.03 million people have been fully vaccinated since the launch of a COVID-19 vaccination drive in late February.
With inputs from Xinhua