Unemployment and underemployment statistics for November 2022 - January 2023

     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for November 2022 - January 2023) released today (February 16) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.5% in October - December 2022 to 3.4% in November 2022 - January 2023. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.5% in October - December 2022 to 1.4% in November 2022 - January 2023.
     Comparing November 2022 - January 2023 with October - December 2022, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with more distinct decreases observed in the construction sector and retail sector. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector; retail sector; and transportation sector.
     Total employment decreased by around 3 100 from 3 665 300 in October - December 2022 to 3 662 200 in November 2022 - January 2023. Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 10 700 from 3 791 300 to 3 780 600.
     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 7 600 from 126 000 in October - December 2022 to 118 400 in November 2022 - January 2023. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 3 200 from 55 300 to 52 100.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, said, "The unemployment and underemployment situation continued to improve. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point from October - December 2022 to 3.4% in November 2022 - January 2023. The underemployment rate also declined by 0.1 percentage point to 1.4%. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 7 600 to 118 400, and that of the underemployed persons by 3 200 to 52 100."
     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 4.5% in November 2022 - January 2023. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate of the retail sector declined by 0.4 percentage point to 4.2%, and that for food and beverage service activities edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 4.9%. The unemployment rates of most other sectors also declined, particularly for the construction sector.
     Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "With the economic activities gradually returned from the epidemic to normalcy, coupled with a rebound in inbound tourism alongside the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the labour market conditions in the coming months should be further improved."
     The Labour Department (LD) has been operating designated recruitment centres for the catering and retail industries at the Treasury Building in Cheung Sha Wan. LD will continue to assist employers of the industries in recruiting staff through proactively organising thematic recruitment activities. In November 2022 – January 2023, LD recorded a monthly average of 92 869 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year decrease of 4.3% and also a decrease of 8.3% over the average figure in October - December 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 November 2022 - January 2023 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 November 2022 to January 2023.
     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, February 16, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30