Hong Kong Jobless Rate Rises In September

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Hong Kong’s jobless rate rose in the July to September period, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday.

The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent during the July to September period from 6.1 percent in the June to August period.

The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent in July-September.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 11,500 to 259,800 during July-September from 248,300 in the preceding period.

Employment fell by 15,600 to 3.624 million in the three months ended in September from 3.64 million in the previous months.

“The labor market deteriorated for the third quarter of 2020 as a whole amid the third wave of the local epidemic, particularly in July and August, but the pressure faced by the labor market showed signs of stabilization towards the end of the quarter as the local epidemic situation abated in September,” the Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

“Meanwhile, the Employment Support Scheme continued to provide support,” Law added.

Further, the official said the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors including retail, accommodation and food services sectors combined surged by 0.8 percentage point from June – August to 11.7 percent in July – September. That was the highest since the onslaught of SARS.

The underemployment rate for that period rose by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent.

The government expects the labor market will remain under pressure in the near term as the overall economic situation remains weak and the global pandemic is still evolving, Law said.

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