The new labour chief echoed Tung Chee-hwa yesterday in saying the jobless should not be choosy. Commissioner for Labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said on his first day in office that he understood the plight of the unemployed. The former deputy secretary of the Education and Manpower Bureau now heads the 1,600-strong Labour Department, with his monthly salary rising from $145,150 to $162,650. Mr Cheung, 48, joined the civil service after graduating in 1972 and has enjoyed job security ever since. 'I completely understand the feelings of the unemployed people. Ultimately the situation will improve. It's just a matter of time,' he said. Mr Cheung said the jobless should settle for work that offered low pay and long hours so they would not lose hope by remaining idle. 'Employers have more confidence in you if you're applying for a job while you're employed in another job. While you're working, you can continue to develop skills,' he said. Unionist sources said they hoped Mr Cheung would do a better job than his predecessor in helping the 191,000 jobless survive the highest unemployment in 22 years. But they said they feared that, like former commissioner Jacqueline Willis, he would be out of touch with the masses. 'We hope he can do something concrete,' unionist legislator Lau Chin-shek said. 'He needs to listen and watch. If a civil servant really wants to understand, he can.'