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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for April - June 2016
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for April - June 2016) released today (July 19) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.4% in April - June 2016, same as that in March - May 2016. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.4% in the two periods.

     Comparing April - June 2016 with March - May 2016, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. Increases were mainly seen in the real estate sector and education sector while decreases were mainly seen in the construction sector and professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar activities) sector. As to the underemployment rate, an increase was mainly seen in the repair, laundry, domestic and other personal service activities sector while a decrease was seen in foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector.

     Total employment increased by around 6 200 from 3 800 900 in March - May 2016 to 3 807 100 in April - June 2016. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 7 700 from 3 935 500 to 3 943 200.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 1 500 from 134 600 in March - May 2016 to 136 100 in April - June 2016. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons decreased by around 1 800 from 55 900 in March - May 2016 to 54 100 in April - June 2016.


     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 overall terms in the second quarter of 2016, with both the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the underemployment rate remaining unchanged at 3.4% and 1.4% respectively. Reflecting the slow economic growth, total employment grew only mildly over a year earlier.

     "The unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related segment (retail, accommodation and food services as a whole) edged up by 0.1 percentage point from the preceding period to 5.4% in April - June 2016, up by 0.8 percentage point year-on-year, with employment registering a continuous year-on-year decline for the 14th consecutive period. Within these sectors, the unemployment rates for the retail and accommodation services sectors went up by 1.6 percentage points and 0.2 percentage point over a year earlier to 5.6% and 4.5% respectively."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "The employment outlook remains overshadowed by the increased external headwinds and the concurrent slowdown in inbound tourism and local consumption market. With the entry of fresh graduates and school leavers into the labour force during the summer season, the labour supply is likely to be boosted in the coming months. We will stay vigilant and monitor developments closely."

     To assist secondary school graduates this year to enter the labour market, the Labour Department has launched a special programme - "Career Let's go" from May to August to help them grasp the latest employment information, devise a career plan and enhance their employability through a series of diversified pre-employment training and employment services. In the meantime, the Department will canvass job vacancies suitable for secondary school graduates and organise various job fairs where they can be interviewed by the employers on the spot.

     On large-scale job fairs, the Labour Department will organise a three-day job fair at Tuen Mun Town Hall during August 17 to 19 with around 60 employers participating. The first day will be a dedicated retail industry job fair while vacancies from other industries will be offered on the other two days. Another large-scale job fair will be staged at Yau Tong Community Hall on September 22 and 23. Recruitment activities will continue to be conducted in the Labour Department's three industry-based Recruitment Centres and local job centres from time to time to assist job-seekers in finding employment.

Further information

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

     The survey for April - June 2016 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 January - March 2016 while the next issue covering the quarter April - June 2016 will be available by end August 2016. 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: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk).
Ends/Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:30
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