The Hong Kong unemployment rate between May and July dropped 0.1% to 6.1%, compared with 6.2 percent for April to June, according to the Census and Statistics Department. The underemployment rate also decreased from 3.7% in April to June to 3.5% in this quarter.
Despite the slight fall, the jobless rate remains at a more than 15-year high. The number of unemployed persons increased by around 1800 to 242,500 in this quarter.
The decreases in the jobless rate were mainly seen in the information and communication sector, professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar activities) sector and education. While the decrease in underemployment rate was mainly seen in retail, accommodation and the food services sector.
"Analysed by sector, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors (specifically retail, accommodation and the food services sectors) combined, edged up to 10.8% in May to July 2020 – the highest since the onslaught of SARS. However the underemployment rate eased further.
Among these sectors, the unemployment rate for food and beverage service activities stayed near the post-SARS high, of 14.6%. The unemployment rate of the construction sector edged up to 11.3%, the highest since the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Meanwhile, the unemployment situation improved in some sectors, notably in information and communications, professional and business services (excluding cleaning and similar activities), and education, according to the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong.
"The labour market will remain under significant pressure in the near term. The recent surges in infected cases both worldwide and locally have further clouded Hong Kong's economic outlook for the rest of the year," he added.