(Xinhua/Zhou Hua)

About 10,000 non-resident workers lost their jobs since pandemic began – Secretary for Economy

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong indicated today (Wednesday) that since the Covid-19 pandemic started in January until July about 10,000 non-resident workers lost their jobs.

Data provided previously by the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL), indicated that the largest decreases reported since the beginning of the year in foreign labour were reported in construction and the hotel and food & beverage sectors.

According to the Secretary, during the same period, the unemployment rate of local employees rose from 2.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent this year but underlined that authorities have not reported a significant increase in businesses closing.

For these unemployed local residents, the Macau government has provided several services for work reassignments, with more than 2,000 locals assisted in finding new employment positions.

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the local economy by greatly reducing the number of visitors to the SAR, with the Secretary noting that authorities had advanced with many policies to assist local SMEs to weather the storm, but admitting a “quantitative and qualitative’ recovery of the local economy would only take place after tourism flows recover.

The second e-card consumer voucher round expected to inject MOP3.6 billion (US$450.8 million) in the local economy will start on August 1 and finish on December 31, with the first round between May and July having injected some MOP2.2 billion in the local economy.

The Secretary made the comments after a Tourism and Leisure Enterprise Vocational Skills Competition jointly organized at JW Marriott by the Macao Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM) and the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL).