The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 500 to 120,900 in March - May of 2014, from 121,400 in February - April of 2014. In the same period, increases in the unemployment rate were mainly observed in the information and communications, and food and beverage service activities sectors while decreases were seen in the construction and transportation sectors.
The number of employed increased by around 19,000 to 3,743,800 persons in March - May of 2014, up from 3,724,800 in February - April of 2014. Over the same period, the labor force also increased by around 18,500 to 3,864,700, from 3,846,200 persons.
The underemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) increased to 1.5 percent in March - May of 2014, from 1.4 percent in February - April of 2014, mainly observed in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector. The number of underemployed persons increased by around 7,000 to 59,800, from 52,800.
On the short-term outlook, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare said that downside risks to the Hong Kong economy have increased recently. Apart from the unsteady global economic recovery and escalating geopolitical risks, the recent softening trend in the local consumption market is also a cause of concern. These domestic and external uncertainties, coupled with the entry of a new batch of fresh graduates and school leavers in the coming few months, may progressively pose some pressure on the labour market.