Hong Kong's jobless rate up from January to March

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 22, 2022
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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points to 5 percent for the period between January and March compared with the previous quarter, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced on Thursday.

According to the HKSAR government's Census and Statistics Department, the underemployment rate from January till March also rose to 3.1 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from the previous quarter. The total employment fell by around 54,000 to 3,610,500.

There were 188,500 unemployed people from January to March, an increase of around 26,900 from the preceding three-month period.

Compared with the period from December 2021 to February 2022, almost all major economic sectors from January to March period saw an increase in both the unemployment rate and underemployment rate.

For the unemployment rate, more distinct increases were observed in the sectors of construction, retail, accommodation and food services, as well as arts, entertainment and recreation. Increases in the underemployment rate were mainly seen in food and beverage service activities, as well as the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

"The labor market was under severe pressure amid the fifth wave of the local epidemic," said Law Chi-kwong, secretary for labor and welfare of the HKSAR government.

Looking ahead, Law said that while the labor market will still be subject to pressure in the near term, with the recently easing local epidemic situation and the launch of a new round of consumption vouchers, the business of the consumption-related sectors should gradually improve and thus support employment in these sectors.

The HKSAR government has been rolling out various relief measures to support enterprises and help keep workers in employment, including the forthcoming 2022 Employment Support Scheme, and it is essential for the community to work in unison to support the government to put the local epidemic under control as swiftly as possible, he added.

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