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Hong Kong's unemployment rate stood at 6.1% in the June-to-August period, unchanged from the previous three months, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Total employment increased by around 3400 from 3,637,000 in May - July 2020 to 3,640,400 in June - August 2020.

That said, the underemployment rate increased from 3.5% in May to July to a post-SARS high of 3.8% in June to August.

According to Dr Law Chi-kwong, the secretary for labour and welfare, the job market remained stagnant in June - August 2020 as the third wave of local epidemic in July and August had continued to disrupt a wide range of economic activities, despite the fillip to business provided by the Employment Support Scheme.  

The unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related sectors, such as retail, accommodation and food services, edged up by 0.1 percentage point from May to July to 10.9% in June to August 2020.

Additionally, the unemployment rate and the underemployment rate for food and beverage service activities rose to 14.4% and 8.3% respectively. The unemployment rate and the underemployment rate of the construction sector also stayed high at 11.1% and 8.1% respectively.

On a positive note, the underemployment situation in many other sectors such as transportation, insurance and education dropped.

Looking forward, Law said, "While the local epidemic situation started to ease gradually in September, the global pandemic is still fluctuating in a rising trend and the overall economic situation remains weak. The labour market will remain under pressure in the near term."

Photo/ The Atlantic