Information from the city’s Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) showed a marked rise in the number of unemployed for the fourth quarter, driven by a sharp drop in the gaming and junket sector.
Analysed by industry, retail and construction experienced employment increases of 1,800 and 1,600 respectively, but the gaming and junket sector saw a 3,600-person drop.
For October-December 2021, Macau’s labour force totalled 389,000 people, with total employment of 377,100. This figure is up by 1,200 from the previous period, but wasn’t enough to offset a rise in the city’s unemployment rate.
For the two-month period, the number of unemployed people climbed from 11,000 to 11,900, while for 2021 as a whole, the general unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percentage points, and the unemployment rate of local residents increased by 0.3 percentage points.
However, the number of underemployed has decreased. For October-December, this fell by 1,100 to 15,700, with the DSEC citing “a notable drop in the number of those engaged in hotels, restaurants and similar activities.”
And the proportion of new labour market entrants seeking their first job dropped by 2.3 percentage points to 10.8% of the total unemployed.
The city’s employment survey covers all residential units in Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane, excluding collective living quarters such as dormitories and care homes for the elderly.
In addition, this news comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report saying Macau’s GDP won’t return to pre-Covid levels before 2025.