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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for August - October 2014

     According to the latest labour force statistics (provisional figures for August - October 2014) released today (November 17) by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in August - October 2014, same as that in July - September 2014. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.5% in the two periods.

     Comparing August - October 2014 with July - September 2014, an increase in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was observed in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector while a decrease was seen in the food and beverage service activities sector. As to the underemployment rate, an increase was observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector while a decrease was seen in the cleaning and similar activities sector.

     Total employment decreased by around 7 100 from 3 785 700 in July - September 2014 to 3 778 600 in August - October 2014. Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 10 800 from 3 918 600 to 3 907 800.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 3 700 from 132 900 in July - September 2014 to 129 200 in August - October 2014. Meanwhile, the number of underemployed persons in August - October 2014 was 57 200, about the same as 57 000 in July - September 2014.


     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The labour market held broadly stable in August - October 2014, with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate staying at a relatively low level of 3.3% for the fourth consecutive month. Both total employment and labour force registered moderate year-on-year growth."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "The latest figures still indicated a largely steady employment situation up to October. However, as labour market indicators are lagging in nature, and with the impact of the 'Occupy Movement' on the domestic economy only likely to surface progressively in the coming few months, we need to closely monitor the potential impact on employment and the income of grassroots workers."

     On the provision of employment services, Mr Cheung noted that the number of private sector vacancies recorded by the Labour Department in October 2014 amounted to over 115 000. The Department organised 19 large-scale job fairs so far this year, with over 580 employers participating and offering more than 48 000 vacancies from the retail, catering, property management and other industries. Besides, 14 training bodies took part to introduce job-training opportunities at the venues and received applications on the spot. The Labour Department will continue to stage large-scale job fairs in the coming months, including the North District Recruitment and Training Expo 2015 at Lung Sum Avenue Sports Centre in Sheung Shui on January 21, 2015.

     Furthermore, the Tung Chung Job Centre newly set up by the Labour Department at Yat Tung Shopping Centre has come into operation since October 20 to meet the service needs of job-seekers and employers in Tung Chung New Town and the neighbouring areas in Lantau.

Further information

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

     The survey for August - October 2014 covered a sample of some 25 000 households or 74 000 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 August - October 2014 can be directed to the Social Analysis and Research Section (2), Census and Statistics Department (Tel: 2887 5508; fax: 2508 1501; email:

Ends/Monday, November 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30


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