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

     Comparing June - August 2016 with May - July 2016, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied. An increase was mainly seen in the professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar activities) sector while a decrease was mainly seen in the construction sector. As to the underemployment rate, increases were mainly observed in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector and the retail sector while decreases were mainly seen in the food and beverage service activities sector and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

     Total employment increased by around 5 400 from 3 811 400 in May - July 2016 to 3 816 800 in June - August 2016. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 7 700 from 3 950 300 to 3 958 000.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 2 400 from 138 800 in May - July 2016 to 141 200 in June - August 2016. The number of underemployed persons in June - August 2016 was 55 900, about the same as in May - July 2016 (55 500).


     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 overall terms in June - August 2016, with both the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the underemployment rate staying at 3.4% and 1.4% respectively for the sixth consecutive period. Total employment and the labour force grew modestly further over a year earlier."

     "The unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related segment (retail, accommodation and food services as a whole) edged down by 0.1 percentage point over the preceding period to 5.2% in June - August 2016. Yet, on a year-on-year comparison, the unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage point higher, with employment dipping for the 16th consecutive period. Within the segment, the retail sector was particularly hard hit by the fall in tourist spending and lacklustre local consumption, with its unemployment rate up by 0.9 percentage point over a year earlier to 5.4%."

     On the short-term outlook, Mr Cheung said, "While the labour market has stayed resilient so far this year, the near-term employment outlook remains clouded by the lingering external uncertainties and their potential impact on local consumption and business sentiment. We will stay vigilant and monitor developments closely.

     "The Labour Department (LD) continues to conduct a series of diversified pre-employment training and employment services to help young people obtain the latest employment information, devise a career plan and enhance their employability. The Department also keeps enhancing Youth Employment and Training Programme (YETP). This includes collaboration for the first time with the MTR Corporation Limited and the Hospital Authority in mid-2016 to launch two tailor-made training-cum-employment projects (TTEP) entitled 'MTR Junior Tradesman Associate Training Project' and 'Patient Care Assistant Training Project' respectively. The projects provide comprehensive pre-employment and on-the-job training opportunities to youths with educational attainment of Form 3 who lack the relevant qualification and working experience."

     On large-scale job fairs, the LD will hold a Job Fair for Middle-aged and Elderly Employment at the Yau Tong Community Hall on September 22 and 23, during which there will be around 46 participating employers with 2 500 job vacancies suitable for middle-aged and elderly. Two other large-scale job fairs will be organised at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai on October 26 and 27, and at Lai Kok Community Hall in Cheung Sha Wan on November 24 and 25. Furthermore, the Department's three industry-based Recruitment Centres and local job centres will continue to conduct recruitment activities 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 June - August 2016 covered a sample of some 24 000 households or 73 000 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 2016 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2016 will be available by end November 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/Monday, September 19, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:30
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