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Migrant workers are preferring other destinations to Macao

The SAR is not keeping up with the competition when it comes to attracting non-resident workers, a top official acknowledges.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 11 Jan 2024, 8:33 am

“Non-resident workers are not choosing Macao,” concedes Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong.

Ponto Final reports that Lei made the remarks to legislators amid concerns that other destinations are offering more benefits and better working conditions than Macao. He acknowledged that the SAR’s cleaning and maintenance sectors faced particularly strong competition when it came to luring foreign workers.

A government mandated obligation to prioritise local hires is believed to have made “blue cards” (the permits held by most foreign employees in Macao) less desirable to non-residents.

The official noted that the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) was well aware of the city’s recruitment challenges. He said it was working to alleviate them through the likes of job-matching sessions and career expos to help ease locals into jobs.

[See more: Locals must make up ‘at least 85 percent’ of each concessionaire’s workforce]

At the same time, he said the bureau was still processing companies’ requests to hire non-residents in situations where there were staff shortages.

“The government will continue to pay attention to the evolution of Macao’s labour market … dynamically adjusting the number of non-resident workers, with the aim of continuously creating more favourable conditions for the employability of residents,” Lei concluded.

Non-resident workers make up a significant percentage of Macao’s population. At the end of the third quarter of 2023, they numbered more than 170,000

UPDATED: 11 Jan 2024, 8:33 am

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