Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for June - August 2021

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Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for June - August 2021

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     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for June - August 2021) released today (September 16) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 5.0% in May - July 2021 to 4.7% in June - August 2021. The underemployment rate also decreased from 2.4% in May - July 2021 to 2.2% in June - August 2021.
 
     Comparing June - August 2021 with May - July 2021, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with more distinct decreases observed in the construction sector and transportation sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the construction sector; food and beverage service activities sector; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

     Total employment increased by around 1 700 from 3 650 000 in May - July 2021 to 3 651 700 in June - August 2021. Over the same period, the labour force decreased by around 8 900 from 3 848 400 to 3 839 500.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 10 700 from 198 400 in May - July 2021 to 187 700 in June - August 2021. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 6 100 from 92 300 to 86 200.

Commentary

     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, "The labour market continued to improve, thanks to the economic recovery. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point from May - July 2021 to 4.7% in June - August 2021. The underemployment rate also decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 2.2%. Meanwhile, total employment increased by 1 700 to 3 651 700, and the number of unemployed persons went down by 10 700 to 187 700."

     Analysed by sector, among the consumption- and tourism-related sectors, the unemployment rates of the retail sector and the accommodation services sector fell by 0.4 and 0.5 percentage point from the preceding three-month period to 6.4% and 6.9% respectively in June - August 2021, while the unemployment rate of food and beverage service activities remained unchanged at 8.6% after successive periods of decline since early 2021. Meanwhile, the unemployment rates of most other economic sectors fell, with those of the construction sector and the transportation sector showing visible declines.

     Looking ahead, Dr Law said, "The labour market should see further improvement as the economy continues to recover. The Government's disbursement of electronic consumption vouchers will continue to render support to consumption-related activities. Yet, with the spread of the more infectious Delta variant in many places around the world, the global pandemic remains a key source of uncertainty over the economic and labour market outlook. To help realise a full economic recovery and hence further improvement in the labour market, it is essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely."

     He pointed out that the Labour Department (LD) will continue to liaise with employers in various industries to canvass vacancies for job-seekers of different educational backgrounds and levels of working experience, and organise large-scale job fairs in different locations as well as industry-based and district-based job fairs at its recruitment centres and job centres respectively to expedite the dissemination of employment information and help job-seekers with different backgrounds secure employment.

     On large-scale job fairs, the LD will organise the Turning a New Page Job Fair on October 12 and 13, 2021 at the MacPherson Stadium. Over 50 employers will participate, offering a large amount of job vacancies from various industries. In June - August 2021, the LD recorded a monthly average of 96 429 vacancies from the private sector, representing an increase of 9.3% over the average figure in May - July 2021 and a year-on-year increase of 69.1%. Job-seekers may make use of the LD's online platforms such as the Interactive Employment Service website for obtaining such vacancy information.

Further Information

     The unemployment and underemployment statistics were compiled from the findings of the continuous General Household Survey.

     The survey for June - August 2021 covered a sample of some 25 000 households or 69 000 persons, selected in accordance with a scientifically designed sampling scheme to represent the population of Hong Kong. Labour force statistics compiled from this sample represented the situation in the moving three-month period of June to August 2021.

     Data on labour force characteristics were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the sampled households.

     In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organization.

     Statistical tables on the latest labour force statistics can be downloaded at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=D5250021&scode=200). More detailed analysis of the labour force characteristics is given in the "Quarterly Report on General Household Survey" which is published four times a year. The latest issue of the publication contains statistics for the quarter April - June 2021 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2021 will be available by end November 2021. Users can also download this publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1050001&scode=200).

     For enquiries about labour force statistics, please contact the Household Statistics Analysis Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2887 5508 or email: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk). 

Ends/Thursday, September 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 16:30

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