'Months before jobless rate drops'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 July, 1999, 12:00am

Unemployment has reached a high, but it will take several months before it drops, according to an expert.

Last month, the rate stayed unchanged at 6.3 per cent - the first time since September. New figures are to be released today.

Professor Sung Yun-wing, chairman of Chinese University's economics department, predicted the rate for the three months to June would stay unchanged.

'There are signs that the economy is starting to recover but it will take some time before its actual effects can be seen,' he said.

'Companies are unlikely to lay off more workers realising that once orders begin to flow in again their expertise and experience will be on demand.' And with the start of infrastructure projects later in the year, unemployment would probably go down, he said. But Polytechnic University applied social studies lecturer Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung warned against an overly positive outlook. 'At the moment, there is no solid evidence to suggest the employment situation has improved,' he said.