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Hong Kong, South Korea Post Record-High Unempolyment Rates

by Jon Agustin / Jan 20, 2021 03:52 AM EST
South Korea

Alarming unemployment rates have been recorded in Hong Kong and South Korea recently due to the pandemic, prompting government relationships to step up their efforts for their people. In Hong Kong, the unemployment rate reportedly rose to its highest since 2004, while South Korea's unemployment rate peaked at its 11-year high. 

According to the latest information at Census and Statistics Department, the unemployment rate in Hong Kong increased to 6.6 percent in the quarter of October to December. There are 245,000 people in the city who have been jobless, with the underemployment rate at 3.4 percent. 

The deterioration Hong Kong labor market was largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept on surging in the city, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong stated. 

Mostly affected were the sectors of tourism, consumption, accommodation, retail, and food services. 

Law said, "As the fourth wave of the local epidemic continues to weigh on local consumption sentiment and disrupt economic activities, the labour market will remain under notable pressure in the near term. The government has rolled out targeted measures lately to provide further support to the hard-hit sectors, and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

On the other hand, South Korea is also facing a huge drop in the employment rate as the unemployment rate reached its 11-year high in December 2020, likewise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The unemployment rate in the East Asian country jumped to 4.6 percent in the last month of 2020, increasing from 4.1 percent in November. It has been regarded as the worst since January 2010.

Nevertheless, the unemployment rate was stable at four percent in 2020, yet was the highest since 2001, according to the information at Statistics Korea. 

The statistics agency pointed out, "Damages on retail, accommodation and restaurant businesses were the biggest strain for December figures."

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