Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate Climbs to 4.5%

Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate Climbs to 4.5%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of Hong Kong rose to 4.5% in December 2021 – February 2022, up from 3.9% in November 2021 – January 2022, according to the latest labour force statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) on March 17.

The region's underemployment rate also climbed to 2.3% in December 2021 – February 2022 from 1.8% in November 2021 – January 2022.

Almost all major economic sectors reported an increase in both unemployment and underemployment rates. When it comes to the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted), more distinct increases were seen in the construction sector; retail, accommodation and food services sector; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector. As for the underemployment rate, increases were distinct in the retail, accommodation and food services; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) went up to 157,900 in December 2021 – February 2022 from 135,200 in November 2021 – January 2022, the government said. The number of underemployed persons also went up to 86,900 from 69,800 for the same time period.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Dr. Law Chi-kwong has remarked that the labour market deteriorated due to the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections in the region.

The food and beverage service sector, which has struggled amid the pandemic, showed an 8.1% increase in its unemployment rate. The unemployment rates of the construction sector and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector also went up to 6.2% and 8.2%, respectively.

"The labour market will continue to face pressure in the near term, as the acute local epidemic is weighing heavily on consumption-related activities and causing disruptions to a wide range of economic activities, " Law said. "While the relief measures adopted by the Government should render some support, the labour market development going forward would hinge on how the local epidemic evolves..."

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