Hong Kong’s unemployment rate stood at 3.2% in February - April 2017, same as that in January - March 2017, according to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department.
The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.2% in the two periods.
Comparing February - April 2017 with January - March 2017, movements in the unemployment rate and underemployment rate in different industry sectors varied, but were all small in magnitude.
Total employment decreased by around 5,700 from 3,822,400 in January - March 2017 to 3,816,700 in February - April 2017. Over the same period, the labor force also decreased by around 3,500 from 3,947,400 to 3,943,900.
The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 2,200 from 125,000 in January - March 2017 to 127,200 in February - April 2017.
The number of underemployed persons in February - April 2017 was 48,800, about the same as in January - March 2017 (49,000).
State of full employment
"The labor market remained in a state of full employment in February - April 2017,” says the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Stephen Sui.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the underemployment rate held steady at low levels of 3.2% and 1.2% respectively.
Both total employment and the labour force continued to show sturdy growth over a year earlier, at 1.1% and 0.9% respectively.
"While there were only small movements in the unemployment rates of most of the major economic sectors when compared with the preceding period, the unemployment rates of many sectors were lower than their year-ago levels alongside the improving economic conditions on entering 2017.
“Specifically, thanks to the continued recovery of inbound tourism, the unemployment rate of the consumption- and tourism-related segment (viz. retail, accommodation and food services as a whole) at 4.7% was 0.6 percentage point lower than its year-ago level."
Tight labor market
On the short-term outlook, Sui said, "The labor market is expected to remain tight in the near term. Yet, as the external environment is still clouded by various uncertainties, we will stay vigilant and monitor the developments closely."
Sui said that the Labor Department (LD) would continue to offer a variety of free and comprehensive employment services for job-seekers with different employment needs, including the youth, the middle-aged and persons with disabilities.
The Youth Employment and Training Programme (YETP) of the department provides comprehensive training and employment support to young school leavers aged 15 to 24 with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below.
In April 2017, LD launched a new employment project under YETP called "Career Kick-start" to provide youths with special needs with 12-month on-the-job training through placements at non-governmental organizations with a view to enhancing their employability.
In terms of large-scale job-fairs, the LD will stage the "Opening Up a New Terrain Job Fair" at Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on June 1 and 2. About 40 employers will participate in this event, offering over 2,200 job vacancies with some suitable for post-secondary education and fresh graduates.
The LD will co-organize the Hong Kong International Airport Career Expo 2017 with the Airport Authority Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 9 to 11 during which many vacancies involving the aviation industry and airport operation will be offered.