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Despite reports of bosses in Hong Kong planning to increase headcount this year, more professionals in Hong Kong have reported being unemployed between December 2014 and February 2015.
According to the latest labour force statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the city stood at 3.3% – unchanged from the period between November 2014 – January 2015.
The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased from 120,500 in November 2014 – January 2015 to 121, 800 in December 2014 – February 2015.
Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons decreased from 62, 200 to 57,300.
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Additionally, total current employment stood at 3,807,500, with 5,700 more people employed from November of last year.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung pointed out that it is customary for employers to review their annual staffing position post the Lunar New Year.
However, the near-term employment outlook, he explained, will continue to hinge on the overall economic situation and business sentiment, in particular the performance of the consumption and tourism-related sectors.
Movements in the unemployment rate by industry sectors varied. Increases were observed in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, and the repair, laundry, domestic and other personal service activities sector.
Decreases were mainly seen in the information and communications sector, and the foundation and superstructure works of the construction sector.