Hong Kong's jobless rate flat at 6.4 pct

Photo: VCG

HONG KONG, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's jobless rate stood at 6.4 percent from August to October, unchanged from the previous three-month period, the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Tuesday.

"Labor market conditions remained difficult, but showed further signs of stabilization as the local epidemic situation stayed contained during that period," Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

The underemployment rate also remained flat at 3.8 percent, and total employment saw a slightly narrowed decline of 5.6 percent on a year-on-year comparison.

Analyzed by sector, the combined jobless rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors, including retail and accommodation, declined to 11.2 percent in the August-October period, down by 0.5 percentage point from the July-September period. While the jobless rate for food and beverage services eased to 14.8 percent, the transportation sector saw a near-17-year high of 6.2 percent.

Hong Kong's labor market has been under great pressure for months due to the impact of social unrest and the COVID-19 epidemic.

The HKSAR government has rolled out unprecedented economic relief worth more than 300 billion Hong Kong dollars (38.7 billion U.S. dollars) in total to fight COVID-19 and help businesses and residents weather out the hardships, including measures on job retention and creation. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.75 HK dollars)