Tuesday, February 22, 2005

fewer guys in Hong Kong

The number of male has become 10 thousand fewer last year, according to the government's statistic, while the number of female continues to rise up.

The reported figure of male is 3.3145 million at the end of 2004, 10 thousand fewer than the data in the middle of the year. The number of female grows up by 1 per cent to 3.581 million. The female is now 3.8 per cent higher than the male.

One reason is that many mainland females (including me) come to Hong Kong, pushing the figures up. But it can't explain the decrease of the males. An aging population is the real problem, according to Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang. He encouraged Hong Kong's young couples to give birth to more children, to say, three. But to my observation, they are too busy to prepare for the birth of the children and the time to raise them up. Tsang said the government would try to attract many young males to balance the gap. But will the step solve the problem? I am cautious about the answer. But many of my male friends should be happy at the Tsang's new step.


Victor said...

Hi Amy,

As mentioned by you, the reasons for fewer guys in HK, as compared to ladies, are more domestic helpers in HK and immigration of Hong Kong men’s mainland wives. Of course, it will be easier for us male to find a mate, but this is really a concern for me.

In HK, people need to earn a living. Perhaps you can call them self-centred, but what they care more about is the standard of living. Caring children is not an easy task, especially in HK. As a wife, you may need to sacrifice a full-time job to do so. It could be ok for a child, as you can ask your grandparents to look after them. How about two or three?

We are all concerned about the education system in HK. The ever-changing system is really a mess for most of us. I was lucky enough that I graduated a few years ago, otherwise I would be a sufferer. I do really hope that Professor Arthur Li can improve our system in the future -- our birth rate might continue to decline.

The economic recovery is not wide-spread, I think. It only benefits the retail- and finance-related industries. Despite flat salary trend for the general public, the retail, service, and finance sectors reported generally positive growth over the past few years. This is understandable, as I think both sectors will be the pillars of the local economy. Low income levels for the general public is also a culprit for the low birth rate.

"The government needs to study expanding the existing talent and professional import schemes to lure those elites, particularly the young and strong, to work in Hong Kong," Donald Tsang said. I appreciate this move -- not because they are male but because they are smart. I met with an exchange student from Nanjing University several years ago, and he was really bright and hard-working.

"We need to attract them to consolidate Hong Kong's status as an international financial hub," he added. I totally agree with the Chief Executive candidate this time. Being a PRC fund raising hub, the only way HK can survive in the future is finance. Attracting more financial talents is absolutely a plus.

Amy or koala said...

Hi, Victor, this is interesting, I can't believe you agree with the chief exeutive candidates that HK should lure more elites from mainland. Don't you think it will made the job hunting more competitive for the locals?

Victor said...

For me, I am not worried about the prospects of HK. Although some challenge that the PRC may at some time call off the scheme allowing PRC tourists to travel to HK freely, I do believe that before the yuan becomes freely convertible, HK will continue to be the PRC fund raising hub. In this field, we still have countless opportunities. For example, some of my friends who are working at the accounting field say that they are still hiring talents. As far as I know, the finance field is also facing intelligents shortage. As we become more PRC-oriented, it is reasonable for our government importing these talents. I think we can also learn from them about the culture and other similar stuffs.

Additionally, I majored financed at the University. Yet, the knowledge I gained is not quite applicable in my daily working environment. Experience, instead, is more important. This is why I am not worried about competition, at least at this moment.

Amy or koala said...

Hmmm, I can feel what you said when the financial companies are busy recruiting people from campus. But PRC students still need come over certain curdle to develop here.

無塵工作室 said...

Female more than male...this problem is also happening in japan (from much longer time ago). Seems to me that since the whole population is more mobile than before, these numbers can become more volatile as well. Of course, these figures also needed to be look at in conjunction with nationalities statistics, to get a clearer picture.

What Tsang said (every family should give birth to 2 to 3 childred) I didn't agree though. To be very harsh, I don't believe that giving more births can solve the problem. As with most societies, there's more poor familes (poor as in relying on doll money for example) than the rich and able ones, so giving more births will put a even bigger strain on the social welfare system, and ultimately the government's budget. Meanwhile, telling the rich and able to have more children instead of the poor will be a better proposition. It's harsh no doubt, but also true.

(I don't know much about Hong Kong's labour market, so please correct me if I'm wrong)Companies in Hong Kong always gave me the impression that they would rather 'lure' high skill labour from outside than to invest in Human resources inside, and even the government thinks that way. As these high positions are being filled by outside people, I'm afraid more and more local talents will be ignored by such companies for one reason or another (HK manager also have a tendoncy towards Westerners).Also, as Victor upstairs had pointed out, experience is more important than knowledge, so companies tend to go for candidates with work experience. As time progresses, I'm also afraid that this will gradually become a 'catch 22' situation as well - you cannot get a job because you never had a job before...but this maybe worrying too much.

I don't believe relying on external high skill labour is good for Hong Kong's economy. Of course there's must be a proportion of it for diversity, but if Hong Kong lacks high skill labour, then nuturing new blood will be a better solution in the long run, rather than having to rely on other countries to release these people. The attitude has to change is what I think.

Amy or koala said...

hehe, you have a totally different attitude with Victor on the importing of people outside.

Victor said...

I think it would be better to distinguish between the prospects of HK and the prospects of general HK people. I am positive on the former but not the latter. Sad to say, although I am a HKer, I am not so optimistic about our future.

Locally, our problem is a bit structural -- high operating costs principally due to above ground salaries. For professionals, this is ok, because they may deserve to pay for a premium. I am talking about professionals but not the general public. I am worried about some sectors that do not require skills. In the future, I am sure that the wealth gap will be even wider, and this could create social unrest. This is why the government is eager to set up the Disneyland. This can create countless opportunties in not only tourism but also other sectors such as retail and hotels as well.

I agree that importing labour is impossible, but importing talents are fine for me. This is a simple supply-demand equation. We can offer higher to them, and they will come. We will not rely on importing talents from other counteris.

Don't take it serious, he just wants more exposure for the Chief Executive competition.

無塵工作室 said...

I try not to take this seriously, and this is possibly just a political stunts from him or something, but the problem lies much deeper as you've said, especially the attitude, and the way the government is tackling the problem (with of without such comments) aren't doing us any justice. Investment in Human Resource is necessary.

I oppose to import labour, and oppose to importing high skill labour in the long run. I can assure you, Hong Kong doesn't lack high skill professional talents, even if they are all hidden behind the 'low skill' general public. But it's angering to see how much the general society oppress such talents, by not giving them room to grow, how can talents develop when no one nutures them? Then they can only become the general low skill public. Hk's education system won't help them at all, so the lucky ones can only leave for other countries, and unfortunately they won't choose to come back.

I believe I am a victim of this myself, that's why I'm doing a specialist MSc degree at Imperial College London and not Hong Kong, because the prospect for me is not great back here. Referrring back to possible outflow of males, I am also one of the statistics.

To me, Hong Kong's 'city of finance' status needn't change to become some 'cybercity', 'chinese medicine city' or whatever, but this doesn't mean we don't nuture talents other than in finance, right?

無塵工作室 said...

One last comment: how can HK's prospect by good when Hkers are begging on the street? These two things cannot be distinguished seperately, otherwise we won't need economics anymore.