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MACAU BUSINESS


For the gaming industry and retail sector, the latest


job vacancy rate was 1.5 percent and 8.3 percent respectively by June 2019, down 0.8 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points from December 2018.


Demand uptick


Tilothy Lao, customer service manager at job recruitment website 853.com, noted that some large brands in the retail sector have temporarily halted their expansion plans in the city in recent times. “We’ve noted the retail brands have become more cautious in regard to investments, so they might not have huge manpower demand [this year],” he said. “I expect the demand for sales assistants in shops will


drop by 5-10 per cent” in 2020, compared with last year, he noted. But he added the demand for supervisors and managers in the retail segment will remain strong, as the supply with suitable requirements for these positions will remain tight.


“Because of the continuous uncertainties about the Salary hike


With a 3.4-per cent rise in the salaries for civil servants this year, observers believe the gaming operators and other businesses in the private sector might follow suit. Despite the economic downturn, the


government announced in November the salary index for public workers would increase from MOP88 (US$11) a point to MOP91 starting from 2020. In the wake of the government’s move, now all eyes are on gaming operators, another large employer in the city.


In the past, traditionally, gaming companies would follow the administration in enhancing


the staff salaries most of the time. For instance, gaming workers enjoyed a salary rise of at least 2.5 per cent last year, following the hike of 3.5 per cent for civil servants. Power of the Macau Gaming Association, a local group for gaming employees, has recently petitioned to the new Macau chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, that the government should pressure the gaming operator to enhance the salaries by 3-5 per cent this year for workers to offset rising consumer prices and economic uncertainties. “As gaming is the leading sector here, if the gaming operators do not adjust upwards the wage the other private businesses will also


follow suit,” said Stephen Lau, chairperson of the group. Latest offi cial fi gures show the median monthly earnings of the employed population reached a historic high of MOP17,000 by the third quarter of 2019, rising by 6.25 per cent from the previous year, while the median monthly earnings of resident workers stood at MOP20,000 by the July-September period, remaining unchanged from the previous year. The median monthly earnings of gaming workers also maintained at a historic peak of MOP20,000 in the third quarter of last year. Jiji Tu, managing director of MSS Recruitment,


economy, there will be less job hopping [in 2020] in general,” Mr. Lao remarked. Jiji Tu, managing director of another manpower firm, MSS Recruitment, also believes the labour market will remain “pretty stable” this year, highlighting the manpower demand will grow stronger in the second half of 2020 over the opening of new resort projects in Cotai. The Grand Lisboa Palace, the first flagship HK$39- billion project of gaming operator SJM Holdings Ltd in Cotai, and the nearby HK$5-billion Lisboeta Macau, are both expected to become operational this year.


“Whenever a new project opens, an operator has to


recruit staff to man all types of positions in numerous sectors, which will tighten the labour market,” said Ms. Tu. “With the opening of the Grand Lisboa Palace and Lisboeta Macau, as well as the Phase 3 of Galaxy Macau in 2021, the liquidity in the labour market will become higher in the second half of 2020.”


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26 FEBRUARY 2020


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