With the fourth wave of infections coming to end late May and the Government's Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in full force, Hong Kong's labour market has started to show signs of recovery, after a difficult 2020. A summary of trends observed and predicted for the rest of the year:
Drop in unemployment rate
- As the pandemic receded, Hong Kong saw a drop in unemployment rate further to 6.4% in April after hitting a record high of 7.2% in February.
- The jobless rate dropped across all sectors with the largest slip seen in the Food and Beverage Service activities, which declined to 12.1% from 13.3%.
- Unemployment rate in Consumption- and Tourism-related sectors, and the Construction sector, fell by 0.8 percentage point to 9.9% and by 0.6 percentage point to 10.9%, respectively.
Future of Work - hybrid workspace
- The future of work is a hybrid workspace where employees split their work between remote workspaces/home and the office.
- While the majority of employees enjoy the freedom of working remotely, at the same time, they crave social interaction and human connection with peers.
- Human connection breeds innovation and builds a community that learns from one another.
- In a recent research, Microsoft found 53% of Hong Kong employees are looking at relocating to areas away from urban centres; whilst 65% of business leaders plan to redesign their office space for hybrid work.
Top HR priorities
- Employers in Hong Kong will focus on enhancing the programmes and polices that enable employees to adapt to new ways of working.
- Strong push in accelerating HR digital transformation.
- 53% of organisations are identifying new skills needed for their post-Covid operations.
Rising demand for contract workers
- The ongoing and rapid digital transformation across key industries in Hong Kong has seen a rise in demand for contracting workers in the Finance & Technology sectors.
- More and more companies are moving towards a hybrid workforce model, where they have a mix of permanent and contracting staff.
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