Hong Kong Stats: Work
Our series on the facts and figures that tell us about Hong Kong culture, politics and industry continues with this instalment, regarding the statistics related to working life in Hong Kong. As one of the major financial centres in the world, with low taxes and near free port trade, it is unsurprising that these figures indicate an area a-buzz with activity.
The rate of employment in Hong Kong is a healthy 60.4%. That is split across 68.7% of men and 53.4% of women. Numbers-wise that translates to just under 2 million men and around 1.8 million women in steady work. Those statistics have held quite solidly through the global recession of the last few years. The 2006 rate of employment was only a small shade higher at 61.2% and, though it dipped down to 59.7% in 2010, the most recent figure shows it back on course.
As one would expect, the majority of workers are in the 25 – 44 age bracket (51.1%), then the 45 – 64 (38.9%), followed by the under 25s (8.5%). A small percentage of over 65s work in Hong Kong. The number of officially unemployed people in Hong Kong is very small, just 126,000 of its population of over 7 million.
One of the reasons for Hong Kong's economic success is the wide variety of industries across which its population can work. The biggest employer is the import and export market, in which 14% of the workforce is employed. That is closely followed by social and personal services, which employs 11.1%, transportation, storage and courier services, which employs 8.9%, retail, which employs 8.6% and construction, employing 7.7%. Other crucial industries in Hong Kong are accommodation and catering, finance, insurance and education.
One industry that has seen a decrease in employment during the last few years is manufacturing. In 2006 it accounted for 4.6% of HK employment. Now that figure is down to 3.2%.
The Hong Kong nominal salary index has increased over the last six years. In 2006 it stood at 146.9. Now it is 178.1, a huge growth. The real salary index, when derived by deflating the corresponding nominal index by the 09/10 CPI, indicates a less dramatic growth, however: 144.6 to 151.1.