HK govt official predicts jobless rate to surpass 7%

Hong Kong, Feb 14 (IANS) Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare of the Hong Kong government, predicted on Sunday that the upcoming jobless rate for the past three months will surpass 7 per cent.

Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose to 6.6 per cent in the October-December 2020 period due to the Covid-19 impact, hitting a 16-year high, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the face of the grim situation, Law said on a Commercial Radio program that the government has offered more temporary jobs and will launch job training programs for those trying to change their careers, adding that such policies are more effective than cash handouts.

But Law still urged people in need to apply for the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, a welfare program that provides payments for people to meet basic needs, and said the government has lowered the threshold.

The jobless rate for the November 2020-January 2021 period is scheduled to be released by the Census and Statistics Department on Thursday.

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