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HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 7.2% in the December-February period, the government said on Tuesday, as a surge in coronavirus infections late last year prompted new restrictions on a wide range of activities.

The figure compared with 7.0% in the November-January period, and was the highest since 2004.

The underemployment rate increased to 4.0% from 3.8% in the previous three-month rolling period. The number of unemployed rose by about 8,300 people to 261,600 in the three months ending in February. The jobless rate for the consumption- and tourism-related sectors combined decreased 0.2 percentage points to 11.1% in December-February, the food and beverage sector fell to 14.1% from 14.7% in the previous three-month period, while the retail sector rose to 9.1% from 8.9%.

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