Hong Kong is trying to reinvigorate the workforce in some sectors, particularly in construction and transportation by refocusing efforts to attract young talent. As the total population ages, not only does the percentage of people in the workforce who are close to retirement age increase, the number of workers who decide to stay employed past the standard retirement age is also growing. This trend is creating a larger percentage of workers over the age of 65 – a number that is projected to grow by 20% and reach as high as 36% in the next 50 years.
The government is also easing license restrictions for professional drivers to stimulate an increase in the numbers of new talent to fill open driver positions. Young recruits will need only to have held a regular driver’s license for one year, instead of the previous three year requirement, to apply for a professional license.
A statutory minimum wage, first enacted in May 2011, mandates that employers must pay their staff at least HK$28 an hour. This was increased to HK$34.50 in May 2017. The 17% increase from 128,000 part-time workers in 2011 to 150,000 workers in 2016 could eventually correlate to higher mandatory wage requirements placed on employers; leading to a future shift towards contract, part-time and other contingent work types in Hong Kong.