Employment and vacancies statistics for September 2020

     According to the figures released today (December 18) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), total employment in the private sector surveyed decreased by 4.4% or 125 400 persons in September 2020 compared with a year earlier. The total number of vacancies was 38 910, representing a decrease of 38% or 24 120 over the preceding year.

Employment statistics

     In September 2020, the selected industries as a whole employed 2 706 900 persons. The import and export trade engaged 392 800 persons, followed by professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar services) engaging 307 500 persons, retail trade 249 800 persons, financing and insurance 239 000 persons, and food and beverage services 206 900 persons.

     Employment decreased in many surveyed industries compared with a year earlier. Decreases in employment were mainly recorded in the industries of accommodation services (covering hotels, guesthouses, boarding houses and other establishments providing short term accommodation) (-15.4% or -6 400 persons), food and beverage services (-13.5% or -32 300 persons), import and export trade (-11.6% or -51 800 persons), wholesale (-8.6% or -4 900 persons), and retail trade (-6.5% or -17 200 persons). On the other hand, employment increased mainly in the industries of human health services (4.1% or 5 600 persons) and real estate (1.1% or 1 500 persons). Employment figures for selected major industries are shown in Table 1.

Vacancies statistics

     Among the 38 910 private sector vacancies, 4 970 were from the industry of financing and insurance, 3 970 from professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar services), 3 930 from education, 3 720 from residential care and social work services, and 3 140 from retail trade.

     Vacancies decreased in all the selected industries in September 2020 over a year earlier. Decreases were more notable in the industries of professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar services) (-3 110 or -44%); retail trade (-2 830 or -47%); arts, entertainment, recreation and other services (-2 760 or -64%); food and beverage services (-2 690 or -52%); and import and export trade (-2 490 or -48%). Job vacancies figures for selected major industries are shown in Table 2.

     Analysed by major occupation category, private sector vacancies were observed mainly in the categories of associate professionals (9 240 vacancies), service and sales workers (8 130 vacancies), and elementary occupations (7 540 vacancies). Job vacancies figures by major occupation category are shown in Table 3.

Seasonally adjusted statistics
     For discerning the latest trend in employment and vacancies in the private sector, it is useful to look at changes over a three-month period in the respective seasonally adjusted figures. Compared with June 2020, the seasonally adjusted total employment and total vacancies in the surveyed industries decreased by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively in September 2020. The changes over three-month periods in the seasonally adjusted series of employment and vacancies are shown in Table 4.

Other information

     The above employment and vacancies statistics were obtained from the Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies and the Quarterly Employment Survey of Construction Sites conducted by the C&SD. In the former survey, some economic activities (e.g. those dominated by self-employment, including taxi operators and hawkers) are not covered. Therefore, the respective employment and vacancies figures relate only to those selected industries included in the survey. In the latter survey on construction sites, employment and vacancies figures relate to manual workers only.

     A detailed breakdown of the above statistics is published in the following reports:

"Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies Statistics, September 2020"

"Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, September 2020"

     Users can download these publications free of charge at the website of the C&SD.

     Enquiries on more detailed employment and vacancies statistics can be directed to the Employment Statistics and Central Register of Establishments Section, C&SD (Tel: 2582 5076; fax: 2827 2296; email: employment@censtatd.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, December 18, 2020
Issued at HKT 16:30