Unemployment rises to 2.9%

August 19, 2019

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.9% in the period between May and July, higher from 2.8% in the April and June period, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1% in the two periods.


Total employment decreased 3,300 to 3,867,400 and the labour force was 3,985,900.


The number of unemployed people increased 4,200 to 118,500 while the number of underemployed people was 40,700.


Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said after remaining unchanged for over a year, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up 0.1 percentage point to a still-low level of 2.9%.


"The manpower situation in most sectors remained largely stable. Yet, as the consumption market stayed soft, the unemployment rate of the retail, accommodation and food services sectors taken together went up from the preceding three-month period.


“Also, the import and export trade sector has been facing increasing pressure amid shrinking trade flows, with the unemployment rate generally on the rise since early this year."


Dr Law warned as the economy is expected to stay weak in the coming months, the local labour market will face greater pressure.


The Government will monitor the situation closely, he added.

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