The size of the labour force in Hong Kong is inevitably shrinking due to rapidly ageing staff.
In an attempt to curb this trend, Hong Kong lawmakers are encouraging more women to begin seeking full time jobs.
For the past 10 years, the participation of women in the workforce has never exceeded 50% of the overall female population.
Poor child services are largely to blame for this loss as a woman is often forced to choose between having a family or pursuing a career due to stringent working hours. Approximately $90 billion a year is being lost as unused resources in the Asia-Pacific region due to the exclusion of women in many industries.
If Hong Kong does not find a way to encourage more women into the workforce economic growth will come to a halt. In the next 5 years the country will experience a 14,000 employee deficit across all sectors. The Census and Statistics Department explained that if the economy expands at a higher rate than 4% a year, there is a chance that the number could reach above 150,000.
In the 10 years from 2002 till 2012, the number of working women only increased by a mere 1%.
According to the CEO of The Women’s Foundation, an NGO in Hong Kong, “Because we don’t have enough affordable and accessible childcare, that is a constraint on women advancing.”
Part-time work is dominated by females with approximately 100,000 women, which is double the number of men, participate in such work. Part-time jobs generally fall on the lower end of the work spectrum, it includes positions as cashiers, cleaners or caterers. While these positions may not suit the qualifications or potential of many of these women, provides them with more lenient working hours.
Hong Kong has also been suffering low fertility rates in addition to an ever aging population. This has created a population deficit that is being recognized in the labor market which is the major cause for this campaign targeting women. The city is on the brink of a turning point in population size and the work force size will shortly begin to shrink if no action is taken.
The number of individuals over 65 will amount to 30% of the total population by 2041 which is more than double the percentage of last year.
In addition, further information indicates that by 2041 the workforce will shrink to less than 50% from almost 60% last year.
Hong Kong has already begun making strategic decisions on the future of the work force, but there is still no indication on whether it will prove successful.
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