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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for June - August 2015
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     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for June - August 2015) released today (September 17) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in June - August 2015, same as that in May - July 2015. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.4% in the two periods.

     Comparing June - August 2015 with May - July 2015, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. Increases were mainly seen in the sectors of arts, entertainment and recreation; education; and retail. Decreases were mainly seen in the sectors of construction and transportation. As to the underemployment rate, different industry sectors also saw diverse movements.

     Total employment increased by around 10 700 from 3 797 800 in May - July 2015 to 3 808 500 in June - August 2015. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 14 100 from 3 931 900 to 3 946 000.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 3 300 from 134 100 in May - July 2015 to 137 400 in June - August 2015.  Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons decreased by around 1 300 from 56 400 to 55 100.

Commentary

     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The labour market remained broadly stable in June - August 2015. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed at 3.3%. Both total employment and labour force grew moderately over a year earlier."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "The near-term labour market outlook will continue to hinge crucially on the overall economic performance. A number of external and domestic headwinds, including the global economic slowdown, increased financial market volatility and the lull in inbound tourism, remain areas of concern. We will stay vigilant and closely monitor developments, in particular the employment situation of low income workers."

     Mr Cheung said, "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. The Department has also launched a range of pilot projects under the Youth Employment and Training Programme to enhance and enrich the workplace attachment opportunities for our youths."

     To assist the middle-aged and elderly persons to find jobs, the Department launched the Employment Programme for the Middle-aged to encourage employers to take on unemployed job-seekers aged 40 or above and offer them on-the-job training. Employers who engage these job-seekers and provide them with on-the-job training may apply for a training allowance for a period of three to six months. The programme has been extended with effect from this month (September) to cover part-time jobs to meet the preference of mature job-seekers.

     The Department will continue to hold large-scale job fairs including the "Opening Up a New Terrain - Sino-Hong Kong Enterprises Job Expo" on October 7 and 8 at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, with 40 employers participating in the event offering job vacancies from various industries, including job opportunities in the Mainland. Mini job fairs are also organised at 13 local job centres from time to time. Moreover, there will be catering and retail employers staging recruitment activities at the Departmentˇ¦s two industry-based recruitment centres almost every working day and interviewing job-seekers on the spot.

Further Information

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

     The survey for June - August 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 April - June 2015 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2015 will be available by end November 2015. Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp200.jsp?productCode=B1050001).

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

Ends/Thursday, September 17, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:32

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