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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for September - November 2021
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for September - November 2021) released today (December 16) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 4.3% in August - October 2021 to 4.1% in September - November 2021. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.9% in August - October 2021 to 1.8% in September - November 2021.
     Comparing September - November 2021 with August - October 2021, most major economic sectors saw a drop in both the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) and underemployment rate. For unemployment rate, more distinct decreases were observed in the construction sector; and retail, accommodation and food services sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the food and beverage service activities sector; and arts, entertainment and recreation sector.
     Total employment increased by around 6 800 from 3 666 500 in August - October 2021 to 3 673 300 in September - November 2021. Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 6 900 from 3 838 200 to 3 831 300.

     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 13 800 from 171 800 in August - October 2021 to 158 000 in September - November 2021. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 2 700 from 72 700 to 70 000.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong said, "The labour market continued to improve amid the on-going economic recovery. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from August - October 2021 to 4.1% in September - November 2021, and the underemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 1.8%. Over the same period, total employment increased by 6 800 to 3 673 300, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 13 800 to 158 000."
     Analysed by sector, the unemployment rates of most economic sectors fell in September - November 2021 as compared with the preceding three-month period. In particular, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors combined fell by 0.6 percentage point to 6.3%. During the period, the Consumption Voucher Scheme helped boost consumer sentiment and spending. Among these sectors, the unemployment rates of accommodation services and food and beverage service activities fell notably by 1.0 and 0.8 percentage point respectively, to 4.8% and 6.9%. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate of the construction sector also declined visibly by 0.8 percentage point to 5.6%.
     Looking ahead, Dr Law said, "With the local epidemic situation remaining under control, the local economic and labour market conditions should continue to improve. To strengthen the foundation for a broad-based economic recovery, it is essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination and abide by the anti-epidemic measures. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely."

     He noted that in September - November 2021, the Labour Department (LD) recorded a monthly average of 105 902 vacancies from the private sector, representing an increase of 0.9% over the average figure in August - October 2021 and a year-on-year increase of 43.8%. Job-seekers may make use of the LD's online platforms such as the Interactive Employment Service website for obtaining such vacancy information.
     In addition, in order to enhance job matching, the LD will strengthen its liaison with employers with recruitment needs, and organise more thematic job fairs to help job-seekers secure employment. The LD's job centres, industry-based recruitment centres, online platforms, etc., also provide comprehensive and free employment services to offer employment support for job-seekers.
Further Information
     The unemployment and underemployment statistics were compiled from the findings of the continuous General Household Survey.
     In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organization. The employed population covers all employers, self-employed persons, employees (including full-time, part-time, casual workers, etc.) and unpaid family workers. Unemployed persons by industry (or occupation) are classified according to their previous industry (or occupation).
     The survey for September - November 2021 covered a sample of some 25 000 households or 69 000 persons, selected in accordance with a scientifically designed sampling scheme to represent the population of Hong Kong. Labour force statistics compiled from this sample represented the situation in the moving three-month period of September to November 2021.
     Data on labour force characteristics were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the sampled households.
     Statistical tables on the latest labour force statistics can be downloaded at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=D5250021&scode=200). More detailed analysis of the 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 July - September 2021 while the next issue covering the quarter October - December 2021 will be available by end February 2022. Users can also download this publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1050001&scode=200).
     For enquiries about labour force statistics, please contact the Household Statistics Analysis Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2887 5508 or email: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, December 16, 2021
Issued at HKT 16:30
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