According to the latest labour force statistics (provisional figures for May – July 2014) released today (August 18) by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.2% in April – June 2014 to 3.3% in May – July 2014. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.5% in the two periods.
Comparing May – July 2014 with April – June 2014, increases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were mainly observed in the food and beverage service activities, repair, laundry, domestic and other personal service activities, and retail sectors. As to the underemployment rate, a decrease was mainly observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector while notable increase was not seen in any particular sector.
Total employment increased by around 26 400 from 3 744 700 in April – June 2014 to 3 771 100 in May – July 2014. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 32 100 from 3 872 300 to 3 904 400.
The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 5 700 from 127 600 in April – June 2014 to 133 300 in May – July 2014. The number of underemployed persons in May – July 2014 was 57 900, about the same as 58 000 in April – June 2014.
Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, “The labour market showed some initial signs of easing with the distinct slackening in inbound tourism and slowdown in domestic demand recently. Although total employment rose to an all-time high of 3 771 100, the increase in labour force was even more. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up further by 0.1 percentage point to 3.3% in May – July 2014.”
On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, “The latest economic analysis indicates that while the Hong Kong economy might hopefully see some relative improvement in the rest of 2014, the outlook is still clouded by downside risks stemming from both the domestic and external fronts. The employment situation in the near term will hinge on the overall economic situation, including how tourism and consumption-related sectors would fare. We, therefore, need to stay vigilant and monitor development closely. The Labour Department will keep up its efforts in providing comprehensive employment support services to job-seekers.”
To help prepare current-year secondary school graduates for the employment market, the Labour Department has launched a special programme – “Career GPS” – from May to August this year, with an aim of enhancing their interview skills and providing them with career assessment and consultation services. The Department will continue to canvass job vacancies suitable for fresh graduates who are entering the job market immediately, and organise large-scale and district-based job fairs where job interviews can be conducted on the spot.
Apart from the Tuen Mun Job Fair that was held last week, the Department will organise a Retail Industry Job Fair from September 18 to 19 at the Lai Kok Community Hall at Cheung Sha Wan. ~
AAStocks Financial News
Web Site: http://www.aastocks.com