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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for April - June 2015

     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for April - June 2015) released today (July 20) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.2% in April - June 2015, same as that in March - May 2015. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.4% in the two periods.

     Comparing April - June 2015 with March - May 2015, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. An increase was mainly seen in the information and communications sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the construction sector. As to the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly observed in the construction sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the warehousing and support activities for transportation sector.

     Total employment increased by around 11 500 from 3 780 100 in March - May 2015 to 3 791 600 in April - June 2015. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 13 800 from 3 907 700 to 3 921 500.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 2 200 from 127 700 in March - May 2015 to 129 900 in April - June 2015. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also increased by around 2 700 from 52 900 to 55 600.


     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 April - June 2015, with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate staying at a low level of 3.2% for the third consecutive period. Both total employment and labour force continued to see moderate year-on-year growth."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "With the entry of fresh graduates and school leavers into the labour force during summer, the labour supply is likely to increase in the near term. Meanwhile, the job and income prospects of consumption-related sectors will continue to hinge on the performance of inbound tourism. We will keep monitoring development closely, in particular the employment situation of grassroots employees in the sectors concerned."

     To promote youth employment, the Labour Department has launched a "Career Let's go" special programme from May to September this year to cater for the pre-employment training and employment needs of secondary school graduates. Some 40 000 youths are expected to benefit from the programme. In addition, the Department has launched a range of pilot projects under the Youth Employment and Training Programme to enhance and enrich the workplace attachment opportunities for our youths. Two Youth Employment Resource Centres - "Youth Employment Start" - under the Department will continue to provide one-stop employment and self-employment support services to young people aged 15 to 29.

     The Department will continue to hold large-scale job fairs including the Tuen Mun Job Fair from July 21 to 23 at the Tuen Mun Town Hall, with 60 participating employers offering around 4 200 job vacancies from various industries. The Department will also organise the Sha Tin Job Fair from August 19 to 21 at the Sha Tin Town Hall.

     Mr Cheung added that the Social Welfare Department had launched a Navigation Scheme for Young Persons in Care Services under which full-time employment with a starting salary of $9,900 per month and training including a two-year part-time course under government subsidy would be offered to young persons who are interested in working in care services in the welfare sector. Those who successfully complete the course will be recognised as having attained Qualification Framework Level 3 or Level 4. This would enable them to move up their career ladder in the social welfare sector by pursuing further studies.

Further Information

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

     The survey for April - June 2015 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 January - March 2015 while the next issue covering the quarter April - June 2015 will be available by end August 2015. Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (

     For enquiries about labour force statistics, please contact the Social Analysis and Research Section (2) of the C&SD (Tel: 2887 5508 or email:

Ends/Monday, July 20, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:30


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