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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for February - April 2023
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for February - April 2023) released today (May 18) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.1% in January - March 2023 to 3.0% in February - April 2023. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.
     Comparing February - April 2023 with January - March 2023, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied, with relatively notable decreases observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector; transportation sector and warehousing and support activities for transportation sector.
     Total employment increased by around 1 800 from 3 654 100 in January - March 2023 to 3 655 900 in February - April 2023. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 1 100 from 3 769 200 to 3 770 300.
     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 700 from 115 100 in January - March 2023 to 114 400 in February - April 2023. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 2 200 from 46 700 to 44 500.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, said, "The labour market continued to improve as domestic economic activities revived further and visitor arrivals rebounded strongly. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point from January - March 2023 to 3.0% in February - April 2023. The underemployment rate stayed low at 1.2%. Total employment increased by 1 800 to 3 655 900. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 700 to 114 400."
     Analysed by sector and compared with the preceding three-month period, the combined unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (viz. retail, accommodation and food services sectors) remained unchanged at 4.2% in February - April 2023. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate of the retail sector held steady at 3.8%, while that of the food and beverage service activities sector declined slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 4.8%. The unemployment rates of some sectors also declined, notably those of the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector, the transportation sector and the warehousing and support activities for transportation sector. As for the remaining sectors, the unemployment rates either showed little change or increased, but stayed low in general.
     Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "The labour market should improve further in the coming months alongside the ongoing economic recovery."
     On large-scale job fairs, the Labour Department (LD) will organise the Job Fair for Residential Care Home Service Industry at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai on June 8 and 9, 2023. Over 30 employers will participate, offering a large number of job vacancies. In February – April 2023, LD recorded a monthly average of 106 577 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year increase of 75.0% and an increase of 4.4% over the average figure in January – March 2023. 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 February - April 2023 covered a sample of some 26 000 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 February to April 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/scode200.html). 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 October - December 2022 while the next issue covering the quarter January - March 2023 will be available by end May 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, May 18, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
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