May 20, 2022
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 5.4 percent in the February-April quarter, the government said on Thursday, the highest since the April-June quarter in 2021 as the labor market deteriorated further as the epidemic situation hit its peak.
The unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities increased by 1.9 percentage points to 12.9%, while that for the retail sector increased by 0.6 percentage points to 8.3%
In the January-March period, the unemployment rate stood at 5.0 percent, according to the Census and Statistics Department.
Total employment dropped by about 51,300 to 3,559,200 while the labor force fell by about 33,700 to 3,765,300.
The underemployment rate increased to 3.8 percent during the period.
There were 206,100 unemployed people from February to April, an increase of around 17,600 from the preceding three-month period. The number of underemployed people rose by around 25,000 to 142,000.
Almost all major economic sectors saw an increase in both the unemployment rate and underemployment rate, according to the government.
The unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities increased by 1.9 percentage points to 12.9 percent, while that of the retail sector increased by 0.6 percentage points to 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the jobless rate for the consumption- and tourism-related sectors combined increased by 1.1 percentage points over the preceding three-month period to 10.0 percent.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the labor market deteriorated further from February to April, but the situation showed some stabilization in the latter part of the period with the receding local COVID-19 epidemic and revival of local economic activities.
“The labor market should see improvement in the coming months,” Law said, adding receding local epidemic situation, relaxation of social distancing measures, and the new round of consumption voucher scheme should render support.
Other relief measures including the latest round of employment support scheme will also help improve economic sentiment, support enterprises and keep workers employed.
“It is essential for the community to work in unison to support the government to further stabilize the local epidemic situation,” Law added.