HK’s jobless rises as unrest takes toll on economy

20 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in China’s Hong Kong in August-October 2019 increased to 3.1 percent, as most sectors including consumption and tourism were affected by the ongoing social unrest, according to the latest labor force statistics released on Monday.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ranging from August to October rose by 0.2 percentage point to 3.1 percent compared to that from July to September, with underemployment rate also up by 0.2 percentage point to 1.2 percent during the same period, showed the statistics provided by the Census and Statistics Department of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, report agencies.

Total employment dropped by around 11,600 from 3,855,400 in July-September 2019 to 3,843,800 in August-October 2019. Meanwhile, the labor force decreased by around 6,400 from 3,975,700 to 3,969,300 over the same period, according to the released figures.

“The unemployment rate will be under increasing upward pressure as local social incidents involving intensifying violence continue to take a heavy toll on the economy,” said Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, adding that the HKSAR government will closely monitor the developments.

Law noted that the labor market further eased as economic conditions continued to worsen, and the year-on-year decline in total employment also enlarged.

“The unemployment rates in most sectors increased compared with the preceding three-month period,” said Law, adding that the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sector rose further to 5 percent, the highest since the beginning of 2017.

Law pointed out that within the consumption- and tourism-related sector, the unemployment rate for those working in food and beverage services went up to 6.1 percent, the highest in more than six years.

Besides, the unemployment rate of the construction sector, particularly of those involved in decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, deteriorated visibly, Law added.