Secretary for Education and Manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun says there is no quick fix for record unemployment, with the jobs situation at the mercy of the world economy and the SAR's financial restructuring. The jobless rate is expected to increase further from the historic high of 6.7 per cent reached last month when the latest figures are released today. Mrs Law said it would be difficult to predict a drop in the number without jobs before the end of the year, as some academics have suggested. 'The jobless rate is affected by two factors - one of them external economies, and the other the transformation of parts of our economy, which is why there are employment pressures in some industries,' she said. Mrs Law said it would be wrong to expect the Government to be able to come up with quick remedies. 'I believe to relieve the unemployment problem will inevitably require gradual improvement in the economy, as the Government does not have a magic wand that can improve things immediately,' she said. 'However, I hope employers try to adopt a medium- and long- term perspective and not lay off workers at this moment because there will be a day when the economy will finally recover.' Mrs Law also urged young job-seekers who had failed to find work to continue studying. She said her bureau will present proposals to lawmakers on Thursday to set up a $5 billion lifelong learning fund - announced last year in Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's policy speech. In a further indication of doubt over the job situation in Hong Kong, a survey by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong found 60 per cent of university students are willing to seek work on the mainland, with Shanghai and Beijing their preferred cities. About 37 per cent of the 847 respondents hoped to find work in administrative management, followed by information technology and hotel management. Fifty-five per cent said they would accept work for $9,000 or more a month, while 30 per cent would settle for $6,000 to $9,000. DAB spokesman Chan Tak-ming said the large number of local university students willing to seek employment on the mainland is due to rising business opportunities in China and the high jobless rate in Hong Kong. 'With China's entry to the World Trade Organisation and fast economic growth, Hong Kong youth know a lot more about China through a range of channels. If there are opportunities available, Hong Kong people will go there,' he said.