One in six Hong Kong housewives willing to reenter job market

July 28, 2015 12:00
A growing number of housewives are being enticed to reenter the job market by low unemployment and a minimum wage regime. Photo: HKEJ

One in six Hong Kong housewives wants to reenter the job market, according to an official survey of women 15 and older.  

Twenty percent of women in that age group are either full-time housewives or family care takers, according to Ming Pao Daily which cited the Census and Statistics survey.

About 22.7 percent of women who want to rejoin the workforce are between 45 and 54 while 21.8 percent are between 35 and 44 and 14.1 percent between 25 and 34.

However, just 6 percent said they would definitely or very likely take a full-time or part-time job.

Their main reasons are earning money (79.4 percent), keeping busy (34.8 percent) and gaining exposure (12.5 percent).

Nearly nine in 10 said flexible working hours would raise their interest in a job, followed by job sharing (67.3 percent) and the ability to work from home (67.1 percent).

The survey polled more than 10,000 households from September to December 2013.

It found that 76.8 percent of housewives had worked before, with 23.4 percent having been out of work for six to 10 years.

They cited family matters such as household tasks and elderly care and their age as the main reasons they quit their jobs.

Alexa Chow, managing director of AMAC Human Resources Consultants, said low unemployment and a minimum wage regime are enticing housewives to work again.

However, those who have been away from the job market for 10 years or longer might need re-training, she said.

Although there is demand for workers in certain key industries such as restaurants, retail, tourism and manufacturing, it's not easy to get in.

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