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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for October - December 2022
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for October - December 2022) released today (January 19) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.7% in September - November 2022 to 3.5% in October - December 2022. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.6% in September - November 2022 to 1.5% in October - December 2022.
     Comparing October - December 2022 with September - November 2022, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with more distinct decreases observed in the construction sector,  retail sector, transportation sector and education sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector; food and beverage service activities sector; and transportation sector.
     Total employment increased by around 8 300 from 3 657 000 in September - November 2022 to 3 665 300 in October - December 2022. Over the same period, the labour force decreased by around 4 400 from 3 795 700 to 3 791 300.
     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 12 700 from 138 700 in September - November 2022 to 126 000 in October - December 2022. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 4 400 from 59 700 to 55 300.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun said, "The labour market improved further. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from September - November 2022 to 3.5% in October - December 2022. The underemployment rate also declined slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 1.5%. Total employment increased by 8 300 to 3 665 300. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 12 700 to 126 000."

     Analysed by sector, the combined unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (viz. retail, accommodation and food services sectors) fell by 0.3 percentage point from the preceding three-month period to 4.7% in October - December 2022. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate for retail sector declined by 0.4 percentage point to 4.6%, and that of the food and beverage service activities edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 5.0%. The unemployment rates of most other sectors also declined, particularly for the construction sector, the transportation sector and the education sector.
     Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "The labour market should continue to improve in the near term. With most social distancing measures removed by the Government and normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland gradually resumed, domestic economic activities are likely to show a more visible revival, lending further support to the labour market. However, the tightened financial conditions may partly offset the positive effects."
     In October - December 2022, the Labour Department (LD) recorded a monthly average of 101 247 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year decrease of 5.7% and also a decrease of 5.7% over the average figure in September - November 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 October - December 2022 covered a sample of some 25 000 households or 68 000 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 October to December 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/Thursday, January 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
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