Hong Kong's Unemployment Rate Remains Stable

Hong Kong's unemployment rate stood at 3.3% in August - October 2013, same as that in July - September 2013. 


The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.5% in the two periods, according to the latest labour force statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department.


Comparing August - October 2013 with July - September 2013, increases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the postal and courier activities, and manufacturing sectors, while decreases were mainly seen in the insurance, and decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sectors. 


As to the underemployment rate, increases were mainly observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, and arts, entertainment and recreation sectors, while decreases were mainly seen in the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector, and the manufacturing sector.


Total employment decreased by around 2,300 from 3,750,100 in July - September 2013 to 3,747,800 in August - October 2013.  Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 6,400 from 3,884,300 to 3,877,900.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 4 100 from 134 200 in July -

September 2013 to 130 100 in August - October 2013.  The number of underemployed persons in August - October 2013 was 56,800, about the same as 57,000 in July - September 2013.


"Hong Kong's unique labour supply shortage coupled with a shrinking pool of skilled workers will continue to impact employers across all industries especially in the banking, finance, retail and service sectors," says Randstad Hong Kong's general manager and director, Peter Yu. "With 2014 just around the corner and traditional economic trading partners recovering, the risk is that Hong Kong companies will struggle to compete against overseas competitors who have readily available talent."


According to a Randstad Workmonitor survey conducted in the third quarter this year, Hong Kong employees are among the least satisified group with their current employer in Asia, again indicating that retaining a skilled workforce will steadily become a more expensive proposition and directly affect the competitiveness of any local or international business with operations in Hong Kong.

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