ECONOMY, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Jobless rate dipped to 6.1% in May-July

It eased in the information and communication, professional and business services sector.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.2% in April-June to 6.1% in May-July, according to the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). The underemployment rate also slipped from 3.7% to 3.5% over the same period.

"The labour market remained austere in May - July 2020, but showed some improvement over April - June as the local epidemic situation was largely under control in May and June. The launch of the Employment Support Scheme has also provided support,” said Dr. Law Chi-kwong, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

Hong Kong’s jobless rate eased mainly in the information and communication sector, professional and business services sector, and the education sector. As to the underemployment rate, the decline was observed in the retail, accommodation and food services sectors.

"Analysed by sector, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors combined edged up to 10.8% in May-July, the highest since the onslaught of SARS, but the underemployment rate eased further. Amongst these sectors, the unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities stayed near the post-SARS high, at 14.6%. The unemployment rate of the construction sector edged up to 11.3%, the highest since the aftermath of the global financial crisis," Chi-kwong added.

The number of unemployed individuals inched up to 242,500 in May-July from 240,700 in April-June, whilst the number of underemployed persons fell by around 6,900 to 136,000. Over the same period, total employment rose to 3.64 million from 3.62 million. The labour force likewise rose from 3.86 million to 3.88 million.

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