Employment survey for January – March 2020

Information from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) indicated that the general unemployment rate for January-March 2020 increased by 0.2 percentage points to 2.1% from the previous period (December 2019-February 2020), climbing above 2.0% for the first time since April-June 2012; the unemployment rate of local residents was 2.9%, up by 0.3 percentage points. Meanwhile, the underemployment rate held steady from the previous period at 0.8%.

Total labour force was 405,800 and the labour force participation rate was 70.5%. Total employment rose by 6,500 from the previous period to 397,400, on account of an increased number of non-resident workers living in Macao as some of those initially living outside Macao moved back to the city before the latest entry restrictions took effect on 20 February. Number of employed residents totalled 280,200, down by 3,200.

Number of the unemployed increased by 1,000 from the previous period to 8,500. Among the unemployed population searching for a new job, number of those previously working in the Transport & Storage sector showed relatively large growth. Meanwhile, the proportion of new labour market entrants seeking their first job decreased by 2.4 percentage points to 8.1% of the total unemployed.

Number of the underemployed edged up by 200 to 3,200, with the majority working in the Construction and Transport & Storage sectors.

In the first quarter of 2020, the general unemployment rate (2.1%) and the unemployment rate of local residents (2.9%) grew by 0.4 and 0.6 percentage points respectively from the previous quarter. Total employment increased by 7,600 quarter-to-quarter whereas number of employed residents dropped by 1,400. Analysed by industry, employment in Wholesale & Retail Trade (49,300) rose by 5,700, while that in Restaurants & Similar Activities (50,700) decreased by 5,200.

Median monthly employment earnings of the employed in the first quarter dropped by MOP1,000 quarter-to-quarter to MOP16,000; median earnings of those engaging in Gaming & Junket Activities and the Construction sector stood at MOP20,000 and MOP14,000 respectively. Moreover, median earnings of the employed residents remained unchanged from the previous quarter, at MOP20,000.

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