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Uses and Limitations

It signals the level of economic activities and working conditions of the various industries. It can act as a leading indicator for potential changes in business conditions, as firms typically find it easier to adjust work hours than their headcount to suit initial transitions in business conditions.

The data, however, do not capture unpaid overtime worked (e.g. by executives and management staff who are normally not paid for working overtime). Users can refer to the statistics on Usual Hours Worked collected from the mid-year Comprehensive Labour Force Survey which captures the number of hours a person usually works in a week, whether paid or not. ​