As many as 22,100 workers quit their jobs because, among other reasons, they had 'no motive to work' or 'no financial need', according to analyses by the Census and Statistics Department released yesterday.
Some 59,000 jobless people responded to the poll on labour mobility conducted between July and September last year via the department's general household survey.
They represented 2.6 per cent of the 'economically inactive population aged 15 or over' at the time.
Of those, 49,500, or 83.9 per cent, had jobs a year earlier, and 37.4 per cent said they had quit because they had 'no motive to work/no financial need' or 'wanted to take rest'.
The second most commonly cited reason (20.1 per cent) was taking care of housework, or looking after family members at home.
Some 9,400 people cited retirement, while 4,800 said they quit because of poor health. The median age of the 59,000 workforce leavers was 45, higher than that of the total labour force which was 39.
They had relatively lower educational attainment than the general labour force. About 21.6 per cent had no schooling or up to primary education only, compared with 13.5 per cent for the total labour force.
A further 20.6 per cent had tertiary-level education, compared with 29.7 per cent for the total workforce.
During the same period, 114,400 people secured jobs, of whom 56.6 per cent were school leavers.
Median monthly pay for people entering the workforce was HK$6,000.