Number of non-resident Macau casino workers halved since pandemic began

At the end of January 2020, the sector had 35,288 non-resident workers.
At the end of January 2020, the sector had 35,288 non-resident workers.

The number of non-resident workers employed by Macau’s six gaming operators has declined by 47.5 per cent since January 2020.

Macau.- Wong Chi Hong, the head of Macau’s Labour Affairs Bureau, has revealed that the number of non-resident workers at Macau’s six gaming operators fell by 47.5 per cent between January 2020 and October 2022.

Speaking in a session on economic and financial policies at the Legislative Assembly, he said there were 18,514 non-resident workers in the sector as of October 31. That compares to 35,288 at the end of January 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Wong Chi Hong said the government’s policy on priority employment for Macau resident identity card holders remained valid. Authorities are also encouraging casino operators to promote residents to senior positions wherever possibl rather than bring in management-level staff.

Wong said that employers would not be permitted to hire a non-resident worker for a particular position if Macau ID holders were willing and able to take it on. In addition, if a non-resident worker already holds a Macau ID, the employer cannot renew the non-resident’s work permit after it expires.

See also: Macau promises to guarantee labour rights in new gaming concessions

Macau’s Statistics and Census Service has recently reported that the number of employees at gaming companies in Macau fell by 4.6 per cent sequentially in the third quarter. It said that 23,300 workers in Macau’s gaming industry were underemployed, up from 19,200. Macau’s overall underemployment rate was 62,500 people, 37.2 per cent of whom work in gaming.

The statistics bureau said the main reason for underemployment in Macau was unpaid leave or partially paid leave, accounting for 81.9 per cent of the total, up 36.3 percentage points from the previous quarter. 

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