Jobless rate hit 7 percent

February 19, 2021 10:36
Photo: Bloomberg

Another 7,500 people lost their jobs between November and January, pushing up the city’s jobless population to over a quarter million and the unemployment rate to 7 percent, the highest in almost 17 years, the government said.

Not surprisingly, the fallout of pandemic has been felt most acutely in catering and tourism-related sectors.

The jobless rate of the food and beverage sector, for example, increased notably to 14.7 percent under the stringent social distancing rules.

Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong noted that labour market conditions in most other sectors also deteriorated, particularly in education and arts, entertainment and recreation.

"Although the fourth wave of the local epidemic has shown signs of easing lately, the labour market will remain under pressure in the near term as it will take time for economic activities to return to normal,” he said.

Still, the outlook is not all gloom and doom.

Many restaurants resumed their evening dine-in services yesterday following a relaxation of social-distancing rules.

Meanwhile, the government will be launching the citywide Covid-19 vaccination programme next Friday.

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