Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the city’s unemployment rate for the three months ended December is likely to exceed the highest level in 16 years because of the impact of tightened coronavirus restrictions. The latest jobless rate is scheduled to be released Tuesday. Unemployment stood at a high of 6.4% for the three months ended October, matching a high from January 2005.
Chan said he expected more business closures and layoffs in the city after the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, if the coronavirus situation isn’t bought under control soon. “The Lunar New Year is usually a time when businesses such as retail and restaurants are the most prosperous and highest earning, but currently they are being severely affected by the epidemic,” Chan wrote in his blog.