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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for June - August 2014

     According to the latest labour force statistics (provisional figures for June - August 2014) released today (September 18) by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in June - August 2014, same as that in May - July 2014. The underemployment rate decreased from 1.5% in May - July 2014 to 1.4% in June - August 2014.

     Comparing June - August 2014 with May - July 2014, an increase in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was observed in the education sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector. As to the underemployment rate, a decrease was mainly observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector.

     Total employment increased by around 18 900 from 3 771 100 in May - July 2014 to 3 790 000 in June - August 2014. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 22 000 from 3 904 400 to 3 926 400.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 3 100 from 133 300 in May - July 2014 to 136 400 in June - August 2014. The number of underemployed persons decreased by around 3 300 from 57 900 in May - July 2014 to 54 600 in June - August 2014.


     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.3% in June - August 2014, after rising slightly for two consecutive months. Nevertheless, both total employment and labour force grew further to their record highs."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "Hong Kong's near-term economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainties on both the domestic and external fronts. The trend of unemployment rate in the rest of this year will hinge on the overall economic situation, including the performance of tourism and consumption-related sectors down the road. We will stay vigilant and monitor development closely."

     On the provision of employment services, Mr Cheung noted that the number of private sector vacancies recorded by the Labour Department in August 2014 amounted to 104 128. The Labour Department organised 14 large-scale job fairs from January to September this year. A total of 420 employers participated, offering over 34 500 vacancies from the retail, catering, property management and other industries. Apart from the Retail Industry Job Fair today and tomorrow, the Department will organise the Tsuen Wan Job Fair from October 21 to 23 at Discovery Park in Tsuen Wan.

Further Information

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

     The survey for June - August 2014 covered a sample of some 25 000 households or 75 000 persons, selected in accordance with a scientifically designed sampling scheme to represent the population of Hong Kong.

     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 Organisation.

     Detailed analysis of 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 2014 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2014 will be available by end November 2014. Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the Census and Statistics Department (

     Enquiries for labour force statistics for June - August 2014 can be directed to the Social Analysis and Research Section (2), Census and Statistics Department (Tel: 2887 5508; Fax: 2508 1501; E-mail:

Ends/Thursday, September 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30


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