Hong Kong October Unemployment Holds at 15-Year High of 6.4%
Hong Kong’s unemployment rate was unchanged in October as the city struggles to emerge from a deep slump triggered by political unrest and the coronavirus outbreak.
The jobless rate for the August-to-October period held at 6.4% for a second month, matching a high from January 2005, according to a government report Tuesday. The reading is better than the 6.6% median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 3.8%.
Unemployment has shown signs of stabilizing in recent months, including an unexpected drop in July and no change in August. The city’s economy has been under pressure for more than a year following anti-government protests and then months of stringent social- distancing measures to control the Covid-19 outbreak.
There are nascent signs of a recovery although the economy has some way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels. Gross domestic product rose 2.8% in the third quarter from the previous three months, in part from a surge in exports to the mainland. On a year-on-year basis, GDP still declined 3.5%, with the governmentforecasting a 6.1% contraction for the full year.
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