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Go-it-alone women set to dominate workforce

Top News | Sophie Hui May 20, 2019
<p>Local women are expected to dominate Hong Kong&#39;s manpower supply as more of them prefer being single in the next eight years, says Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.</p><p>Writing on his blog, Cheung said proportions regarding age group, gender and education level would gradually change in the manpower supply.</p><p>He said it is expected that manpower supply of local women would increase slightly from 1.65 million in 2017 to 1.69 million in 2027, with an average annual increase of 0.2 percent.</p><p>&quot;This may be because the growth of the female population is faster and more women tend to be single and marry late,&quot; he said.</p><p>Cheung said the supply of local males is expected to fall from 1.99 million in 2017 to 1.88 million in 2027, with an average annual decline of 0.6 percent.</p><p>He cited estimates by the Labour and Welfare Bureau in its Manpower Projection to 2027 report submitted to lawmakers last week. The manpower supply, from 3.64 million in 2017, would climb to 3.67 million to 3.68 million people this year to 2022. But then it would drop annually until it reaches 3.57 million in 2027.</p><p>After comparing the projection of manpower supply and demand, the shortage in 2027 would be nearly 170,000 people, and the shortage would appear at different education levels.</p><p>The shortage would be the most severe at junior secondary school or lower - at 76,500 - while the shortage would be at 34,600 at bachelor and postgraduate level.</p><p>&quot;Many experts and scholars in the Human Resources Planning Commission believe long-term shortage in manpower would slow down the economic development. Hence, it is necessary to solve the local manpower issue, to have good manpower planning, to avoid mismatch of skills and to unleash local labor force in all aspects, so it can make the best use of talents,&quot; Cheung said.</p><p>Due to the shortage, he said the government will seriously consider introducing importing labor for industries with severe manpower shortage.</p><p>He said women, ethnic minorities, new immigrants, people with disabilities and retirees who would like to return to the employment market were important human resources. &quot;None of them can be left out,&quot; he said.</p><p>sophie.hui@singtaonewscorp.com</p>


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