The unemployment rate in Hong Kong has decreased in December 2009 – February 2010.
According to the latest labour force statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased notably from 4.9% in November 2009 – January 2010 to 4.6% in December 2009 – February 2010. The figure is the lowest since November 2008 – January 2009. The decreases were mainly in foundation and superstructure, retail and food services, cleaning activities and warehousing, and support activities for transportation.
Comparing the two periods, the underemployment rate has also decreased, from 2.2% to 2.1%. Decreases were mainly in decoration and maintenance, and transportation. The total employment has increased by 7,900 to 3,513,600, and the labour force has increased by 700 to 3,672,700.
The government commented that the unemployment rate of the 15-24 age group has shown significant improvement, with a drop of 1.2 percentage points to 9.9%. This is due to the decrease in the number of unemployed school leavers and unemployed persons with post-secondary degrees. In addition, the unemployment rate of the construction sector dropped slightly to 7.3%, showing that the unemployment situation in this sector is improving steadily.
The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Matthew Cheung, commented, “The labour market is continuing to revive and that many employers are in a stronger recruiting mood. Given the positive business sentiment and market feedback on vacancies, unemployment is likely to ease further in the next couple of months.”