Unemployment and underemployment statistics for April - June 2017

     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for April - June 2017) released today (July 18) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.2% in March - May 2017 to 3.1% in April - June 2017. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.

     Comparing April - June 2017 with March - May 2017, a decrease in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) was mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

     Total employment increased by around 4 200 from 3 817 900 in March - May 2017 to 3 822 100 in April - June 2017. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 3 000 from 3 944 200 to 3 947 200.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 1 100 from 126 300 in March - May 2017 to 125 200 in April - June 2017. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 2 100 from 47 600 to 45 500.


     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, said, "The labour market remained in full employment and tightened further during April - June 2017. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.1%, the lowest level in more than three years, while the underemployment rate stayed low at 1.2%. Employment growth remained robust.

     "Benefiting from the generally positive local consumer sentiment and the relative improvement in inbound tourism, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related segment (viz. retail, accommodation and food services as a whole) in April - June 2017 inched down to 4.7%, down by 0.8 percentage point compared to the level a year ago."

     On the short-term outlook, Dr Law said, "In the near term, the overall labour market conditions are expected to remain favourable on the back of sturdy labour demand. Yet, we will stay vigilant and closely monitor how the various external uncertainties evolve and affect the local economy down the road."

     He said that the Labour Department (LD) would continue to offer an array of free and comprehensive employment services to job-seekers through its 13 job centres, three industry-based recruitment centres, a telephone employment service centre, the Interactive Employment Service website, the Higher Education Employment Information e-Platform and vacancy search terminals installed at various locations in the territory.

     In 2017, the LD re-launched the e-Learning Support Scheme, Bank Talent Recruitment Day and Aviation Recruitment Series: I Can Fly, From Ground to Sky under the Youth Employment and Training Programme to provide training and job opportunities for young people who seek to enter work in the sectors of information technology, education, multi-media, banking and aviation.

     As for large-scale job-fairs, the LD will stage the Job Fair for Middle-aged and Elderly Employment at Tuen Mun Town Hall on July 28. Over 20 employers will participate in this event, offering some 2 500 job vacancies with many suitable for middle-aged and elderly job seekers to apply. The LD will also organise large-scale job fairs at Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po from August 22 to 24 and Tsuen Wan Town Hall from September 28 to 29. The department's three industry-based recruitment centres as well as the 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 April - June 2017 covered a sample of some 25 000 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 January - March 2017 while the next issue covering the quarter April - June 2017 will be available by end-August 2017. 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 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30