HK jobless rate drops to new low of 4.5 per cent since start of coronavirus pandemic on improved economy

22-Oct-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 per cent in the three months to the end of September, a new low since the coronavirus pandemic began, with the local economy gathering pace after the roll-out of the government’s multibillion-dollar e-voucher scheme.

The rolling figure was down 0.2 percentage points over the period spanning June to August, the Census and Statistics Department revealed on Thursday, signalling a sustained economic recovery brought on by the easing of Covid-19 locally.

The latest jobless rate is the lowest since early 2020, when it reached 4.2 per cent in the January to March period, before dropping to 7.2 per cent for the three months ending in February the worst showing since 2004.

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According to the figures, about 180,600 people remained out of work, some 7,1000 fewer than in the preceding quarter, while the number of underemployed fell 8.3 per cent, to 79,000 residents.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said a marked improvement in unemployment was seen in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector, professional and business services, excluding cleaning and similar activities, and the arts, entertainment and recreation.

“The labour market improved further along with the increasingly entrenched economic recovery,” he said. “The voucher scheme should continue to render support to consumption-related activities in the near term.”

The government handed out the first batch of its HK$5,000 (US$645) consumption vouchers in August to boost sagging spending, under a HK$36 billion scheme forecast to add at least 0.7 per cent to the gross domestic product this year.

That same month, authorities also upgraded their forecast of Hong Kong’s economic growth to between 5.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent for the year, after GDP registered robust growth of 7.6 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter.

For the first half of 2021, real GDP the figure adjusted for inflation grew 7.8 per cent from the same period last year.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-government-keen-public-093000336.html

 

Category: Hong Kong

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