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Unemployment in Hong Kong fell to 3.3% in the three months to the end June, down from 3.4% between March to May, according to the Census and Statistics Department. The Hong Kong unemployment rate has declined steadily since it peaked at 5.5% in June – August 2009.
The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Matthew Cheung stated that labour demand is likely to stay firm in the near term, but the global economic outlook remains cloudy, as the cutback in the US stimulus measures could weigh heavily on the city’s economy and labour market.
Comparing April - June 2013 with March - May 2013, decreases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the warehousing and support activities for transportation, decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, and food and beverage service activities sectors. As to the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly observed in the transportation sector, while a decrease was mainly seen in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector.
On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "Labour demand is likely to stay firm on the back of a resilient domestic sector, thereby helping to keep the unemployment rate at a relatively low level in the near term. Nevertheless, we will remain vigilant to the external uncertainties, notably the pace at which the United States quantitative easing measures will taper and the evolving global economic situation, and their potential impacts on the local economy and labour market."
"With the entry of fresh graduates and school leavers into the labour market, the unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 as a whole has risen by 0.7 percentage point to 9.6%, which is slightly lower than the level of 9.7% in the corresponding period last year. The Labour Department will keep up its efforts in providing comprehensive employment service to job-seekers," Mr Cheung added.