Hong Kong’s jobless rate has edged up to 2.9 per cent from a four-year low, following an increase in unemployment in manufacturing and trade.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 2.8 per cent during July to September to 2.9 per cent between August and October, according to figures released Thursday by the Census and Statistics Department.
The city’s jobless population grew to 115,800 in August-October, a rise of around 1,800 from the previous period, while total employment dropped by around 6,900 to 3.71 million.
The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.1 per cent over the two periods.
“Comparing August-October 2023 with July-September 2023, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. Relatively notable increases were observed in the manufacturing sector and import and export trade sector,” an English statement from the department read.
Chris Sun, the labour and welfare minister, said the unemployment rate was still at a low level despite edging up by 0.1 per cent.
“Inbound tourism and local consumption will continue to underpin economic growth in the near term,” he said, adding the labour market “should remain tight” in the near future despite a “difficult external environment.”
The Labour Department will organise a job fair featuring around 50 employers at the end of this month, the statement said.
It also said the Labour Department had recorded a monthly average of 98, 222 vacancies from the private sector during August to October, a year-on-year decrease of 10.8 per cent. Job seekers may make use of the Interactive Employment Service website, it added.
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