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Slight Rise in Unemployment in Hong Kong: Employment Statistics for March – May 2010

by on June 23, 2010

The latest government statistics show a small increase in unemployment, but nothing that we believe is too worrisome.  From the Hong Kong government web site:

“According to the latest labour force statistics released today (June 17) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.4% in February-April 2010 to 4.6% (provisional figure) in March-May 2010.  Meanwhile, the underemployment rate declined from 2.1% to 2.0% (provisional figure).

Commentary

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate registered its first increase since mid-2009, going up by 0.2 percentage point to 4.6% in March-May 2010.

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said that the increased uncertainties in the external environment, coupled with the fluctuations in the local asset market, had to a certain extent affected general sentiment.  Some employers were more cautious in hiring, thus resulting in a decrease in total employment.

He said, “The labour supply is expected to pick up upon the entry of fresh graduates and school leavers into the labour market as summer holidays approach.  The latest 0.9 percentage point increase of the unemployment rate for persons aged 15-24 from 10.2% to 11.1% suggested that pressure on youth unemployment is beginning to emerge.

“Hong Kong’s overall economic performance remains largely positive at present,” Mr Cheung said.  “Looking ahead, the trend of unemployment rate will hinge on the pace of economic growth, in particular whether the number of jobs to be created can absorb young job-seekers joining the labour force.  The Eurozone debt crisis and its contagion also pose uncertainties to the labour market.  This will bring pressure on the unemployment rate in the near future.  We will remain vigilant, continue to monitor the situation closely, and do whatever we can to assist job-seekers,” he added.”

READ THE FULL RELEASE

Yet again, the C&SD numbers are a mixed bag of good and bad news, as we seem to be in a bit of a holding pattern.  However, we are still optimistic since the trend of decreasing unemployment, which began in mid-2009, seems likely to continue despite some hiccups. We can attest to a continuing search for lawyers by Hong Kong firms, as we have a wide range of openings for qualified candidates seeking legal jobs.  To search for an engagement that fits your career goals and to get tips on how to maximize your job search efforts, please visit us at Law Alliance.

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