Hong Kong unemployment rate up 3.2 percent in April to June

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Hong Kong, Hong Kong (4E) – The unemployment rate in Hong Kong surprisingly climbed in June from its lowest level in 16 years, according to data from the labor market statistics office released Thursday.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rate jumped 3.2 percent in the April to June period from 3.1 percent in the March to May period, according to the Census and Statistics Department report. The rate was expected to stay flat at 3.1 percent, the lowest level in 16 years.

Meanwhile, the jobless rate continues to remain unchanged at 1.5 percent in April to June.

The number of people out of work rose by about 5,300 to 126,200 in the April to June period compared with 120,900 in the March to May period.

Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the Secretary for Labor and Welfare, said that unemployment continues to be low.

In the short term, Mr. Cheung said the recent decline in local consumption and the increased supply in the labor force coming from the recent batch of school leavers and fresh graduates, may provide some pressure on the job market.

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