Jobless rate in Hong Kong soars to highest in over 15 years


Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has climbed to its highest level in more than 15 years, hitting 6.2% for the April to June period, while a fresh wave of coronavirus infections could plunge the embattled economy further into recession.

The jobless rate has climbed for nine straight months as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on an economy that was already weak following months of social unrest last year.

This is below the median forecast of 6.4% among economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The latest reading is the highest since January 2005 and the increase marks nine straight months of worsening unemployment, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hong Kong’s surging jobless total is the latest troubling indicator for an economy mired in its deepest recession on record amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The city faces more pressure from a developing third wave of the virus and the deteriorating relationship between the United States and China after Beijing imposed a national security law in the city.

Rising unemployment also has led to a greater number of people competing for fewer jobs, worsening the city’s already wide wealth gap as tens of thousands have been thrown out of work with little social safety net. (Source: The Straits Times)