HONG KONG, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Law Chi-kwong, secretary for labor and welfare of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, predicted Sunday that the upcoming jobless rate for the past three months will surpass 7 percent and vowed job creation and training to tackle the worsening labor market.
Hong Kong's unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent in the October-December period due to the COVID-19 impact, hitting a 16-year high.
In the face of the grim situation, Law said on a Commercial Radio program that the government has offered more temporary jobs and will launch job training programs for those trying to change their careers, adding that such policies are more effective than cash handouts.
But Law still urged people in need to apply for the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, a welfare program that provides payments for people to meet basic needs, and said the government has lowered the threshold.
The jobless rate for the November-January period is scheduled to be released by the Census and Statistics Department on Thursday.