Hong Kong unemployment rises to highest level since 2004
Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose in December to the highest level in 16 years as the city struggled under stiff social distancing measures to control a persistent rise in Covid-19 cases.
The jobless rate jumped to 6.6% in the October-to-December period, up from 6.3% previously, returning to levels not seen since December 2004, according to a government report Tuesday.
The reading is worse than the 6.4% median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The underemployment rate remained at 3.4%.
Local businesses are struggling under strict social distancing measures and a lack of tourism. Restrictions on group gatherings, early restaurant closures and shuttered bars have curbed consumer spending in the city state.
The economy will likely continue to struggle through the first half of the year before a recovery emerges in the second half, depending on the global rollout of vaccines, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said at the Asian Financial Forum earlier Tuesday.
“The Lunar New Year is usually a time when businesses such as retail and restaurants are the most prosperous and highest earning, but currently they are being severely affected by the epidemic,” Chan wrote on his blog Sunday.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- free movement of some 2,000 Amboseli elephants, along with two dozen other wildlife species plus cows owned by local Maasai people, may be under threat - from avocados.
- Pope Francis, speaking at the end of his general audience, appealed directly to Myanmar's military authorities "so that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord".
- Police have taped off the area about 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of Amsterdam and are investigating the cause of the blast.
- The aviation sector has been hit hard due to the travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world to contain Covid-19.
- When Niamrin inspected the mass, she found that it smelled like fish. Unaware of what the mass was, she brought it back home with her. The mass could be worth over $250,000