Jobless rate better than I expected: Law Chi-kwong - RTHK
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Jobless rate better than I expected: Law Chi-kwong

2022-06-18 HKT 11:01
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  • Jobless rate better than I expected: Law Chi-kwong
Labour minister Law Chi-kwong on Saturday said the latest jobless rate of 5.1 percent was better than he was expecting, adding that he was cautiously optimistic about the economy,.

Speaking on an RTHK radio programme, Mr Law said he expected the rate to dip below four percent by the end of the year.

But the minister noted uncertainties like the Covid situation could affect the economy.

"The pandemic has the biggest impact on our economy. But we've learnt a huge lesson during the fifth wave of infections so I believe we'll be much better prepared should there be a sixth wave. So things that happened in the fifth wave won't happen again," he said.

"Even if there were to be a negative impact, it wouldn't be as severe as it was in February, March and April."

Law refused to evaluate his performance over the past five years, though he said the current SAR government had rolled out more labour and welfare policies than all of its predecessors combined.

But Law acknowledged that many workers had been affected by the failure to pass a bill, until earlier this week, that gives staff paid sick leave should they be absent from work because of the government's Covid-control measures. The legislation also made it illegal for bosses to fire workers for Covid-related absence.

"If someone is to apologise, it should be me," he said.

The official said the legislation was not retroactive, because that could render previous agreements between employers and employees illegal.