Jobless rate drops to 6.8%

April 22, 2021

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped by 0.4 percentage point to 6.8% for the period between January and March compared to the period from December to February, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


The underemployment rate also decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8% during the period.


Total employment increased by about 4,000 to 3,614,100 while the labour force rose by about 2,200 to 3,873,900.


There were 259,800 unemployed people from January to March, a decrease of around 1,800 from the preceding three-month period. The number of underemployed people also fell by about 6,200 to 148,400.


Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong pointed out that the labour market was under notable pressure in the first quarter this year, but the situation stabilised in the quarter’s latter part as the fourth wave of the local COVID-19 epidemic receded.


Analysed by sector, the unemployment rate of the consumption and tourism-related sectors, including retail, accommodation and food services, fell 0.4 percentage point to 10.7%.


Among these sectors, the unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities declined from 14.1% to 13.3%.


Dr Law also noted that the unemployment rate of the human health activities sector decreased notably, while changes in unemployment rates in other sectors were generally small.


Looking ahead, he said: “As the pace of recovery is uneven across sectors and inbound tourism remains in the doldrums, the labour market may still face challenges in the near term.


“Nevertheless, if the local epidemic situation continues to be contained, the operating environment for consumer-facing economic sectors may improve and this should help ease the pressure on the labour market.”


The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely, he added.

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