Workers in Macau’s gaming industry – which includes casinos, junkets and lotteries – accounted for 26.5 percent, or 2,800, of the city’s underemployed population in the first quarter of 2022. That was down 54.8 percent from the last quarter of 2021, according to the first-quarter employment survey, published earlier this month by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The number of underemployed in Macau fell by 32.5 percent quarter-on-quarter, to 10,600 as of end March. According to the survey, the main reason for underemployment was that workers were “placed on unpaid leave or partially paid leave by the company”, taking up 41.6 percent of the total.
The statistics bureau considers the underemployed, those “who work involuntarily for less than 35 hours during the seven days before” the survey, “and are available to take on additional work or are looking for extra work during the 30 days” before the poll. Thus, workers who are on unpaid leave during the seven days before the survey and meet the criteria “are considered as underemployed population,” it states.
The number of people employed in Macau’s gaming industry – including residents and non-residents - in the first quarter declined by nearly 5.0 percent sequentially, to about 72,700. At the end of December, there were 76,500 workers in the city’s gaming sector, according to the statistics bureau.
The gaming sector accounted for 19.6 percent of Macau’s employed population in the first three months of 2022, showed the data.
Macau’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points quarter-on-quarter, to 3.5 percent in the three months to March 31. It represented about 13,300 people, compared to 11,900 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Among the unemployed searching for a new job, 27.5 percent of them, or 3,400, were people previously working in the gaming sector, showed the data.
Some of Macau’s casino operators have introduced voluntary exit schemes for staff interested in pursuing new careers elsewhere. It is not clear whether any of those schemes specifically affected industry employment in the first quarter.
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