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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for August - October 2017
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for August - October 2017) released today (November 16) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.1% in July - September 2017 to 3.0% in August - October 2017. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.1% in the two periods.

     Comparing August - October 2017 with July - September 2017, decreases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were mainly seen in the import and export trade sector and the financing sector.

     Total employment in August - October 2017 was 3 837 100, about the same as in July - September 2017 (3 837 400). The labour force decreased by around 4 900 from 3 965 600 in July - September 2017 to 3 960 700 in August - October 2017.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 4 600 from 128 200 in July - September 2017 to 123 600 in August - October 2017. The number of underemployed persons in August - October 2017 was 44 200, about the same as in July - September 2017 (43 700).

     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, said, "The labour market tightened further in August - October 2017. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.0%, a low level last seen in early 1998. Meanwhile, the underemployment rate stayed low at 1.1% for the fourth consecutive three-month period. Total employment saw further notable year-on-year growth.

     "Many economic sectors saw a decline in unemployment rate over the preceding three-month period. On a year-on-year comparison, the improvement in unemployment situation across different sectors was even more apparent."

     On the short-term outlook, Dr Law said, "Labour market conditions will likely remain tight in the near term amid the further solid growth of the local economy. Yet, we will stay vigilant of various uncertainties in the external environment and closely monitor the relevant developments. "

     He noted that the unemployment rate for youngsters aged 15 to 24 as a whole also went down by 1.0 percentage point over the preceding period to 9.5%. To assist young people to find jobs, the Labour Department (LD) provides through the Youth Employment and Training Programme (YETP) comprehensive training and employment support to young school leavers aged 15 to 24 with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below. The LD also launched a new employment project under YETP called "Career Kick-start" to provide vulnerable youths with 12-month on-the-job training through placements at non-governmental organisations with a view to enhancing their employability. Moreover, two Youth Employment Resource Centres named Youth Employment Start have been set up by the LD to provide one-stop employment and self-employment support services to young people aged 15 to 29.

     On large-scale job-fairs, the LD has already held 16 large-scale job fairs so far in 2017, with a total of some 33 400 job vacancies offered. The next large-scale job fair will be staged at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai from November 21 to 22. About 70 employers will participate in this event, offering about 5 100 job vacancies including those suitable for middle-aged and elderly job seekers. The LD will also organise a large-scale job fair at the Lung Sum Avenue Sports Centre in Sheung Shui on January 19, 2018. In addition, industry-based or district-based job fairs are organised at the LD's recruitment centres and job centres located across the territory to assist job-seekers in seeking employment.

Further Information

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

     The survey for August - October 2017 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 Organization.

     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 2017 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2017 will be available by end-November 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/Thursday, November 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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