Government reviewing non-residents labor quota

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has said that the government is considering a change to the approval mechanism for qualified non-resident worker labor quotas.
In a meeting with the representatives of the National People’s Congress in the SAR, the city’s top official said that workers from outside the SAR who seek to migrate to the region would need to make a substantial contribution to Macau, taking into account the employment situation of local residents, and that non-resident workers must be introduced appropriately.
He explained that, in general terms, the approval of the non-resident workers’ permits must be due to the demands associated with the adequate diversification of the economy and social development.
Ho made the comments after noting that he hoped for the region’s commercial sector to make more suggestions and actively encourage the diversification of Macau’s industries.
If the sector introduces good projects, Ho pledged that the government would be sure to provide the necessary support.
The current employment situation in Macau continues to weaken due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the city’s economy. Macau’s unemployment rate for the June to August period rose to 4% for the resident workforce, and to 2.8% overall.
Recent official data shows that during this period, the city had a total labor force of 404,000 and a labor force participation rate of 70.2%. A total of 392,500 were employed, 276,600 of which were local residents. These figures decreased by 2,900 and 1,100, respectively.
With the downturn of the economy, many local residents are finding it difficult to find another job, which implies that the hiring of non-local residents may be even tougher – particularly given the new employment law, which came into effect in early October.
Since the new law prohibits people on tourist visas from seeking work and being directly employed by local companies, these foreign workers will find it more difficult to get hired as the city still currently bans foreign people from entering Macau, even if a company is willing to hire them.
It is yet to be disclosed how the government will improve the approval mechanism of labor quotas for non-resident workers, but until the economy recovers, it is likely that there may be a freeze in hiring non-locals, noting that it is a priority for the government to employ local residents prior to foreign workers.

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