Unemployment Recession
Larry Howard
Developing a Business Perspective
December 20, 2009

      The unemployment rate became a hot topic in the past few months when it rose to
3.5 per cent, a recent high for almost 10 years. The jobless rate was higher
than the 3.2 per cent unemployment rate recorded in the May to July period. The
underemployment rate in the June to August period rose to 2.5 per cent from 2.3
per cent in the May to July period. Until recently, most workers who lost their
jobs were from the manufacturing sector. They were middle-aged factory workers
with few skills and little education. But in recent months a large number of
employees have been laid off in the retail and restaurant businesses.
Unemployment has spilled over to the service sector from manufacturing sector.
Hong Kong is facing a prolonged economic downturn. The high unemployment rate has raised many social and economic problems. For example, the number of people who commit suicide is increased. It is because more people had lost their jobs for a long time. It is a serious threat to the lives of the poor. The unemployed people may also feel that it is unmeaning to live. As a result, they will commit suicide to solve the problem. Moreover, the high unemployment rate results in the increase of the rate of crime. There
was an unemployed man who stole rice because he was too hungry and he did not
have money to even buy food!

      Today more than ever, there is a major and constant fear of an impending recession in our government’s economy. A recession is a downturn in the economy when output and employment are falling for at least a period of six months. Despite all the recession talk recently, the economy apparently isn't doing so badly. The Commerce department today (4.27) announced that GDP grew at a 2.0% annual rate in the first quarter. This was up from 1% in the final quarter of 2000.

The 2% rate is still slower than this...