Unemployment and underemployment statistics for July - September 2014

     According to the latest labour force statistics (provisional figures for July - September 2014) released today (October 20) by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in July - September 2014, same as that in June - August 2014. The underemployment rate increased from 1.4% in June - August 2014 to 1.5% in July - September 2014.

     Comparing July - September 2014 with June - August 2014, an increase in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector while decreases were seen in the cleaning and similar activities, and warehousing and support activities for transportation sectors. As to the underemployment rate, increases were observed in the transportation, and food and beverage service activities sectors.

     Total employment decreased by around 4 300 from 3 790 000 in June - August 2014 to 3 785 700 in July - September 2014. Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 7 800 from 3 926 400 to 3 918 600.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 3 500 from 136 400 in June - August 2014 to 132 900 in July - September 2014. Meanwhile, the number of underemployed persons increased by around 2 400 from 54 600 to 57 000.


     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The labour market held largely stable in July - September 2014, with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate staying at 3.3% for three consecutive months. Both total employment and labour force sustained moderate year-on-year growth."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "While the latest figures indicated a still largely tight labour market up to September, they had not yet reflected the disruptions to economic activities caused by the recent 'Occupy Central' movement on many industries such as retail, catering and inbound tourism. The 'Occupy Central' movement, if protracted, would inevitably dampen the local consumption market in the fourth quarter with potential knock-on impact on the employment market. We will stay vigilant and monitor development closely."

     On the provision of employment services, Mr Cheung announced that the Labour Department' new Job Centre at Tung Chung had come into operation today.

     "The Tung Chung Job Centre, located at Yat Tung Estate Shopping Centre, and the 13th of its kind provided by the Labour Department, is designed to meet the service needs of job-seekers and employers in Tung Chung New Town and the neighbouring areas in Lantau.

     "Its advent underlines the importance that the Government attaches to promoting employment," said Mr Cheung.

     The number of private sector vacancies recorded by the Labour Department in September 2014 amounted to 106 689. The Department organised 14 large-scale job fairs from January to September this year, with 420 employers offering over 34 500 vacancies from the retail, catering, property management and other industries.

     Meanwhile, the Labour Department will organise two major job fairs in the next few weeks. Apart from the Tsuen Wan Job Fair to be held from October 21 to 23, the Kowloon East Job Fair will be held on November 5 and 6 at the Domain in Yau Tong.

Further Information

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

     The survey for July - September 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 (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp200.jsp?productCode=B1050001).

     Enquiries for labour force statistics for July - September 2014 can be directed to the Social Analysis and Research Section (2), Census and Statistics Department (Tel: 2887 5508; Fax: 2508 1501; E-mail: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk).

Ends/Monday, October 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30