Unemployment rate in HK remains steady at 2.8% in June-August 2023, underemployment declines to 1.0%


19th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) The latest labour force statistics, released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (September 19), reveal that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June-August 2023 remained unchanged at 2.8%, the same as the previous period of May-July 2023. Additionally, the underemployment rate decreased from 1.1% to 1.0% during the same period.

While there were variations in the unemployment rate across different industry sectors between June-August 2023 and May-July 2023, the differences were generally not significant. However, the decoration, repair, and maintenance for buildings sector saw a notable decrease in the underemployment rate.

Total employment experienced a slight increase of approximately 6,500 individuals, rising from 3,708,000 in May-July 2023 to 3,714,500 in June-August 2023. Similarly, the labour force expanded by around 6,900 individuals, reaching 3,826,600 during the same period, compared to 3,819,700 previously.

In terms of the number of unemployed individuals (not seasonally adjusted), June-August 2023 recorded 112,100 persons, which was similar to the figure of 111,700 in May-July 2023. Moreover, the number of underemployed individuals decreased by approximately 1,600, dropping from 40,500 to 38,900.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, commented on the latest unemployment figures stating, “The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained low at 2.8% in June-August 2023, the same level as in May-July 2023. The underemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 1.0%. Both the labour force and total employment continued to rise, reaching 3,826,600 and 3,714,500, respectively. The number of unemployed individuals remained low at 112,100.”

Although the unemployment rates varied across sectors in June-August 2023 compared to the previous three months, they generally remained low. The combined unemployment rate for the retail, accommodation, and food services sectors held steady at 3.7%. Notably, the food and beverage service activities sector experienced a decline of 0.2 percentage points to 4.1%, while the retail sector saw a slight increase of 0.1 percentage point to 3.4%. There were decreases in the unemployment rates in several other sectors, including construction, transportation, and insurance.

Looking ahead, Mr Sun expressed optimism, saying, “The ongoing recovery of inbound tourism and local consumption would continue to support the labour market in the coming months.”

To facilitate job opportunities, the Labour Department (LD) will organise the “North District Recruitment and Training Expo” at Wo Hing Sports Centre in Fanling on October 13, 2023. Over 45 employers will participate, offering numerous vacancies. In June-August 2023, the LD recorded an average of 105,225 vacancies from the private sector, representing a 4.5% year-on-year decrease but a 1.3% increase compared to the average figure in May-July 2023. Job-seekers can utilize LD’s online platforms, such as the Interactive Employment Service website, to access vacancy information.