Unemployment rises to 5.2%

May 19, 2020

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.2% in the period between February and April, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


The underemployment rate also increased to 3.1% in the period.


Total employment dropped by 62,600 to 3,657,400 while the labour force fell by 22,400 to 3,859,800.


There were 202,500 unemployed people in the period, an increase of 40,300 from the period between January and March, while the number of underemployed people rose by 35,800 to 118,600.

Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said the labour market showed further sharp deterioration as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh on a wide range of economic activities.


The unemployment rate soared by one percentage point to 5.2% for the period, the highest in over a decade, while the underemployment rate also surged by one percentage point to 3.1%, the highest in over 15 years.


The year-on-year declines in total employment and labour force widened further to 5.4% and 3%, both the largest on record.


Dr Law added: "The labour market will continue to face immense pressure in the near term. To preserve the vitality of the economy, the Government has rolled out relief measures of unprecedented scale, including a series of measures on job retention and job creation. These measures should help keep workers in employment.


"The Government will closely monitor the situation."

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