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All corporation function job openings have seen the steepest drop in April, with human resources and administration job roles plummeting 23%, according to Links International

Accounting, marketing and sales functions dropped at least 15% respectively, while the usually resilient IT industry fell 8%.

In terms of specific job titles, with traditional brick-and-mortar stores closed and consumers switching to online spending, there was a stronger demand for eCommerce and digital marketing managers towards the end of April. 

Demand for financial, planning & analysis (FP&A) managers was one of the jobs most adversely affected, with FP&A job postings dropping by over 70% in April. 

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Even though job postings fell 16% between March and April – which makes April the worst performing month for the Hong Kong job market this year – the job market began to stabilise in the last two weeks of April.

The improvement towards the end of April coincides with the improving situation in Hong Kong, where the city reported no new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 for over 14 days.

As the government relaxes restrictions and civil servants and private sector employees return to the office, the recruitment agency expects a recovery in the job market in early May, similar to the bounce in the market when employees returned to the office in early March 2020.

While the number of job ads fell drastically, the number of job applications has increased 32% in April — reflecting a strong shift towards an employer-driven job market.

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A sharp 0.5% increase in unemployment to 4.2% indicates that around 28,000 additional Hongkongers have lost their jobs. In total around 162,200 people are out of a job, a number not seen in almost a decade. Analysts forecast there will be more job cuts in the near future.