Average June earnings – excluding bonuses – of full-time employees in Macau’s gaming sector fell by 5.5 percent year-on-year, according to the city’s second-quarter sectoral survey on manpower needs and wages.
It was not clear from the information provided whether the reduction was linked to the widespread introduction by local casino firms of unpaid leave schemes. Such moves have come with the downturn in tourism amid travel restrictions relating to Covid-19, as the casino industry has looked to cut its operating costs.
The average June income for a gaming-sector worker was MOP23,200 (US$2,906). Macau ID holders earned more on average than non-resident employees: MOP23,370, versus MOP19,830.
The survey, published on Thursday by Macau’s Statistics and Census Service, excluded people working either for VIP gambling junket promoters or for junket associates.
The tally of full-time employees in the gaming sector went down by 381 year-on-year to 57,459, a decline of just under 0.7 percent.
“Owing to the impact of novel coronavirus pneumonia, there were only 25 vacancies at the end of the second quarter, down significantly by 879 year-on- year,” said the survey.
Among the vacancies available, 68 percent of the posts required work experience, and 76 percent required tertiary education. The need for knowledge of Mandarin and English applied respectively in 88 percent of the vacancies.
The city-wide unemployment rate for the second quarter was 2.5 percent, up 40 basis points from the 2.1 percent unemployment rate of the first quarter, according to other data released previously by the statistics service.
The latest gaming manpower needs and wages survey showed that in aggregate during the reporting period, 57.7 percent of sector employees were women. Additionally, 94.4 percent of all sectoral employees were on shift work, reflecting the 24-hour operational cycle of Macau’s casinos.
The number of table-games dealers totalled 25,344, up by 131 year-on-year, but down by 115 from the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. Their average earnings fell by 7.6 percent year-on-year to MOP19,270.
Under a local-government policy, only Macau ID holders can be Macau casino dealers.
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"We [estimate] that these illegal [currency exchange] transactions account for somewhere between 50 percent to 60 percent [of Macau's annual gross gaming revenue]”
Managing partner at IGamiX Management and Consulting