Hong Kong's unemployment rate rises to 3.4 per cent, highest in three years

Reuters Hong Kong Feb 18, 2020, 05.49 PM(IST)

File photo of Hong Kong protest. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The combined unemployment rate in the consumption and tourism sectors stayed at 5.2 per cent, its highest in more than three years.

Hong Kong's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.4 per cent in the November to January period, the highest in more than three years, government figures showed on Tuesday, as worries grew over the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The labour market had slackened further as economic conditions remained weak, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-Kwong, said in a statement.

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"The labour market will be subject to even more pressure in the near term, as the threat of the novel coronavirus infection has already caused severe disruptions to a wide range of economic activities lately, particularly the consumption- and tourism-related sectors," Law added.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 3.3 per cent in the previous three-month period, the data showed. The underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.2 per cent.

The combined unemployment rate in the consumption and tourism sectors stayed at 5.2 per cent, its highest in more than three years.

Hong Kong's economy contracted for the first time in a decade in 2019 as violent anti-government protests and the Sino-US trade dispute took more steam out of the economy.