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Employment situation progresses “favourably”

The unemployment rate fell between September and November and now stands at 2.3 per cent. According to the Chief Executive, the employment situation for residents is progressing "favourably" and unemployment levels are falling. He is also encouraging the hiring of non-resident workers, in order to get closer to the pre-pandemic figures

The unemployment rate between September and November last year stood at 2.3 per cent, slightly higher among residents (2.9 per cent), according to the Statistics and Census Services (DSEC). This represents a decrease of 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively, compared to the period between August and October 2023. The unemployment rate also fell by 0.1 per cent and now stands at 1.4 per cent.

The active population living in Macau totalled 380,700 people and the activity rate was 68.4 per cent. The employed population totalled 372,000 people and the number of employed residents reached 287,800 people, up 1,500 and 400 respectively. The number of employees grew especially in the education, financial activities, transport and storage sectors.

According to preliminary estimates from migration records, the average number of Macau residents and non-resident workers, who worked in Macau but lived abroad, was estimated at around 98,400 in the reference period, including these individuals, the total labour force was 479,100 people, up 2,800 on the previous period.

The Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, addressing the general employment situation in December, defended the increase in the number of non-resident workers, which rose from 153,000 in January to 174,000 in October, i.e. 21,000 workers.

He also pointed out that it is necessary to reach figures similar to those recorded before the pandemic (193,500), as Macau’s economic development requires this number of non-resident workers.

Regarding structural unemployment, i.e. people whose qualifications do not allow them to find a place in the labour market, Ho admitted that it is a more “difficult” problem to solve, but that efforts are being made to do so.

The unemployed population at the end of November totalled 8,600 people, down 500 on the previous period. It is noteworthy that among the unemployed looking for a new job, the majority previously worked in the lottery business, other betting and gaming promotion activities and in the hotel, restaurant and similar business. In addition to these, the number of unemployed people looking for their first job represented 14.3 per cent of the total unemployed population, down 0.4 percentage points.

The underemployed population totalled 5,400 people, 200 fewer than in the previous period. It should be noted that most of the underemployed population belonged to the construction and transport and storage industries.

Compared to the same period in 2022, the activity rate, unemployment rate and underemployment rate fell by 0.5, 1.4 and 2.9 percentage points respectively.

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