Unemployment reaches 5.9%

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.9% in the period between March and May, while the underemployment rate also went up to 3.5% during the period, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.

Total employment dropped by 37,900 to 3,619,500, while the labour force fell by 9,900 to 3,849,900.

There were 230,400 unemployed people in the period, an increase of 27,900 from the period between February and April, while the number of underemployed people rose by 16,500 to 135,100.

Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said in a statement that the labour market showed further deterioration as a wide range of economic activities stayed in the doldrums.

The year-on-year declines in total employment and labour force widened further to 6.5% and 3.3%, both the largest on record, he said.

Speaking to reporters before attending the Legislative Council Panel on Manpower meeting this evening, Dr Law also noted that the Employment Support Scheme may have an expectation effect on reducing the deterioration in the unemployment rate, as employers start reviewing their manpower situation to meet the application criteria.

“Although the increase in the unemployment rate looks a little bit grim, when you look at the rate of increase or the reduction of that rate of increase, then the situation is not that pessimistic,” he added.

Updated on 16 Jun, 2020

Back to Articles Update