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Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for September - November 2022
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for September - November 2022) released today (December 16) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.8% in August - October 2022 to 3.7% in September - November 2022. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.7% in August - October 2022 to 1.6% in September - November 2022.
     Comparing September - November 2022 with August - October 2022, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with a more distinct decrease observed in the foundation and superstructure sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector; and food and beverage service activities sector.
     Total employment increased by around 8 400 from 3 648 600 in August - October 2022 to 3 657 000 in September - November 2022. The labour force in September - November 2022 was 3 795 900, about the same as that in August - October 2022 (3 796 000).
     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 8 500 from 147 400 in August - October 2022 to 138 900 in September - November 2022. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 3 700 from 63 400 to 59 700.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, said, "The labour market continued to improve. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point from August - October 2022 to 3.7% in September - November 2022. The underemployment rate also declined slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 1.6%. Total employment increased by 8 400 to 3 657 000. The number of unemployed persons fell by 8 500 to 138 900."

     Analysed by sector, the combined unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (viz. retail, accommodation and food services sectors) fell by 0.2 percentage point from the preceding three-month period to 5.0% in September - November 2022. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities fell by 0.3 percentage point to 5.1%, and that of the retail sector declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.0%. The unemployment rates of most other sectors also declined, particularly the foundation and superstructure sector.
     Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "The near-term labour market outlook will depend on the pace of revival in domestic economic activities. The further relaxation of epidemic-related measures and the Consumption Voucher Scheme also help, but tightened financial conditions will partly offset the positive effects. It remains vital for the community to work together with the Government to continue to contain the epidemic."
     In September - November 2022, the Labour Department (LD) recorded a monthly average of 107 331 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.3% and a decrease of 2.5% over the average figure in August - October 2022. Job-seekers may make use of the LD's online platforms such as the Interactive Employment Service website for obtaining such vacancy information.
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 2022 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 2022.
     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 2022 while the next issue covering the quarter October - December 2022 will be available by end February 2023. 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 General Household Survey Section (3) of the C&SD (Tel: 2887 5508 or email: ghs@censtatd.gov.hk).
Ends/Friday, December 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:30
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