Hong Kong Jobless Rate Highest In Over 9 Years


Hong Kong's jobless rate rose during the December to February period to its highest level in over nine years, the Census and Statistics Department said on Tuesday.


The jobless rate increased to 3.7 percent in during December from February from 3.4 percent during the November to January.


The latest unemployment rate was the highest in more than nine years.


However, the number of unemployed persons increased to 134,100 during the three months ended in February from 122,300 in the previous three months.


The number of employed persons declined by around 34,400 persons to 3.768 billion during the November to January period.


"The labour market deteriorated sharply, as the COVID-19 epidemic caused severe disruptions to a wide range of economic activities and dampened economic sentiment," the Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.


"The labour market will be subject to even greater pressure in the near term, and the exact impact will hinge on the duration and severity of the pandemic around the world."


The employment situation of the consumption-and-tourism-related sectors exacerbated further, as the threat of the COVID-19 infection has brought inbound tourism to a standstill and dealt a severe blow to consumption-related activities, Law Chi-kwong said.

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