The unemployment rate already at a nine-year high is likely to increase calling on the finance sector to lend a hand, noted many small and medium-sized enterprises in many industries are experiencing a cliff-edge fall in business.
The labour market remained austere in May to July 2020, but showed some improvement over April – June as the local epidemic situation was largely under control in May and June.
The contagion had infected people in Hong Kong with related deaths, has ground much economic activity to a halt, with almost all tourists deterred from visiting, many events cancelled; and shops, restaurants, and other venues struggling as people stay at home. The economic circumstance is more severe than in SARS. Numerous SME enterprises in many industries are experiencing a cliff-edge fall in business. Many companies faced ruptures in the capital chain, while the staff is forced to take unpaid leave or a pay cut, or even face dismissal.
The Government has rolled out relief measures of unprecedented scale, including a series of measures on job retention and job creation, which help keep workers in employment. It will continue to monitor the situation attentively.
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