Links has released a new monthly research series, Hong Kong Job Index, that reviews the job market in Hong Kong based on data analysis of job posting, HK Labor statistics and job application rates in respect of a basket of common commercial job types in Hong Kong.
Between December and January the index has shown job postings falling by 11 per cent and continuing to fall by eight per cent between January and February in contrast to previous years where jobs tend to increase between January and February.
Elsewhere there are positive signs of a recovery in the job market in March with job postings increasing by two per cent in the first week of March with a large portion of the Hong Kong workforce returning to offices after the government relaxed its recommendation to work from home.
In the first week of March, job postings for IT positions were already up by four per cent and finance positions are up by two per cent. In particular, the Index has found a significant increase in demand for financial controllers and FP&A managers as businesses look to keep costs under control in light of increased uncertainty.
The job market moved slightly into employers’ favour as unemployment in Hong Kong continues to increase from the record low employment rates seen in 2019 of 2.2 per cent to 3.4 per cent in January 2020. Links have said they expect that this unemployment rate will continue to increase in Q1 and Q2 of 2020 as increasing numbers of employers (particular retail, hospitality and F&B) reduce staff numbers or place staff on unpaid leave to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus and forecast slower growth in 2020.