• 4.4




Key drivers

Talent Mismatch (5.7)

An increase in job vacancies in the social and personal service and professional business service sectors drove the rise in the vacancy rate.

Labour Market Participation (5.7)

The growth in the participation rate is forecast to slow this year. This reflects an expected decline in the participation rate of 15-24 year olds.

Education Flexibility (1.9)

The ranking of educational standards relative to the other 33 markets featured in the report slipped slightly last year but remains very high, meaning the education system is equipped to provide graduates with relevant skills.


Education Flexibility


Labour Market Participation


Labour Market Flexibility


Talent Mismatch


Overall Wage Pressure


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Industries


Wage Pressure in High-Skill Occupation


Dean Stallard

Managing Director, Hays Greater Bay Area

View from the Ground

The past year in Hong Kong SAR was all about the recruitment market shift in traditional finance industries to a surging demand from both employers and candidates in fintech and virtual banking. These hot new industries have created numerous jobs in the market. The majority of these roles are tech-based with developers, data analytics and project managers in high demand; but legal, compliance and marketing have also benefited. While an influx of investment capital in these new industries has kept recruitment buoyant, the same cannot be said for more traditional finance industries where cost control continues to be a major factor and a more conservative recruitment strategy has been implemented, replacing only the most critical vacancies. There is also high demand in supply chain and demand planners, as Hong Kong SAR remains a regional hub for supply chain and procurement, and the demand for eCommerce and logistics of goods remain high. Overall the recruitment market remains healthy.

Dean Stallard, Managing Director, Hays Greater Bay Area

Key Skills in Demand

  • Data Scientists
  • Web/Mobile Developers
  • Supply and Demand Planners
  • Business Development/ Key Account/Partnership Managers – Fintech
  • Marketing Directors

Market Insight

In 2018, the Hong Kong SAR economy expanded by 2.9%. This was in line with its average for the previous five years of 2.9%. The growth had a positive impact on the demand for labour. The number of job vacancies (excluding civil servants) rose by 3.6% and unemployment continued to fall last year, reaching a 21-year low of 2.8%.

Low unemployment combined with an ageing population points to a lack of spare capacity in the labour market with potentially significant ramifications for future growth – the size of the labour force is expected to shrink by 10% by 2030. In a bid to alleviate these pressures, last year’s budget included more spending on improving childcare support, aimed at raising female labour force participation.