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Unemployment and underemployment statistics for June - August 2023
     According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for June - August 2023) released today (September 19) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in June - August 2023, same as that in May - July 2023. The underemployment rate decreased from 1.1% in May - July 2023 to 1.0% in June - August 2023.
     Comparing June - August 2023 with May - July 2023, movements in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) in different industry sectors varied, but the magnitudes were generally not large. As to the underemployment rate, a decrease was mainly seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector.
     Total employment increased by around 6 500 from 3 708 000 in May - July 2023 to 3 714 500 in June - August 2023. Over the same period, the labour force also increased by around 6 900 from 3 819 700 to 3 826 600.
     The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) in June - August 2023 was 112 100, about the same as that in May - July 2023 (111 700). Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons decreased by around 1 600 from 40 500 to 38 900.
     Commenting on the latest unemployment figures, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, said, "The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed low at 2.8% in June - August 2023, same as the level in May - July 2023. The underemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 1.0%. Both the labour force and total employment increased further, by 6 900 and 6 500 to 3 826 600 and 3 714 500 respectively. The number of unemployed persons stayed low at 112 100."
     The unemployment rates of the various sectors stayed low in general in June - August 2023, though showing diverse movements compared with the preceding three-month period. The combined unemployment rate of the retail, accommodation and food services sectors stayed unchanged at 3.7%. Among these sectors, the unemployment rate of the food and beverage service activities sector declined by 0.2 percentage point to 4.1%, while that of the retail sector edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 3.4%. The unemployment rates of some other sectors declined, notably the construction sector, the transportation sector and the insurance sector.
     Looking ahead, Mr Sun said, "The ongoing recovery of inbound tourism and local consumption would continue to support the labour market in the coming months."
     On large-scale job fairs, the Labour Department (LD) will organise the "North District Recruitment and Training Expo" at Wo Hing Sports Centre in Fanling on October 13, 2023. Over 45 employers will participate, offering a large number of vacancies. In June – August 2023, LD recorded a monthly average of 105 225 vacancies from the private sector, representing a year-on-year decrease of 4.5% and an increase of 1.3% over the average figure in May – July 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 June - August 2023 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 June to August 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 report contains statistics for the quarter April - June 2023 while the next issue covering the quarter July - September 2023 will be available by end November 2023. Users can also browse and 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/Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
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