HONG KONG, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's jobless rate continued to fall over the past three months as business activities were gradually recovering thanks to the abating COVID-19 epidemic.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the financial hub went down to 6.4 percent during the February-April period from 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said on Thursday in a report.
The underemployment rate dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.3 percent at the same time.
Analyzed by sector, the unemployment rate of most economic sectors fell as compared with the preceding three months.
In particular, the combined unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors came down by 0.8 percentage point to 9.9 percent, with a decline from 13.3 percent to 12.1 percent for food and beverage service activities. The unemployment rate of the construction sector declined by 0.6 percentage point to 10.9 percent.
"The labor market saw some improvement lately as the local epidemic receded," Secretary for Labor and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said, adding that as the business receipts in many labor-intensive sectors are still far below the pre-pandemic levels, the labor market will take time to attain a more visible recovery.
To create more favorable conditions for the revival of consumer-facing and tourism-related activities, it is essential for the community to work together to keep the epidemic under control and actively participate in the COVID-19 vaccination program, he said.