Hong Kong jobless rate jumps to highest in more than 15 years

The jobless rate rose to 6.2 per cent for the April to June period. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong's unemployment rate rose in June to the highest in more than 15 years, as the city's economy remains under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic as well as escalating US-China tensions.

The jobless rate rose to 6.2 per cent for the April to June period, below the median forecast of 6.4 per cent among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The latest reading is the highest since January 2005. The increase marks nine straight months of worsening unemployment, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hong Kong's surging jobless total is the latest troubling indicator for an economy mired in its deepest recession on record amid the coronavirus outbreak. The city faces more pressure from a developing third wave of the virus and the deteriorating relationship between the United States and China after Beijing imposed a national security law in the city.

Rising unemployment also has led to a greater number of people competing for fewer jobs, worsening the city's already wide wealth gap as tens of thousands have been thrown out of work with little social safety net.

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