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Hong Kong's unemployment rises as protests heat up

Riot police and protesters clash in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on Monday
Police and protesters clash in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on Monday. (Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images)

The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.1% in Hong Kong last month from 2.9%, according to new data released by the government on Monday.

Why it matters: The standoff between pro-democracy protestors and police isn't letting up — capping a stretch of the bloodiest clashes between police and protesters since the protests began in June. Monday's data adds to a spate of worsening economic indicators in Hong Kong, which is in the midst of its first recession in 10 years.

The big picture:

  • Hong Kong's jobless rate in the consumption and tourism sectors jumped to the highest level in two years.
  • “Retailers, restaurants and hotels are cutting wages and hours or letting staff go just to survive,” Bloomberg reports.

The bottom line: "The violence and prospect of a harsher crackdown has battered Hong Kong's economy," the FT notes — adding to pain the economy was already feeling from the global economic slowdown and the U.S.-China trade war.

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