Pandemic deals blow to job market confidence

Academics at MUST unveil the findings of the Macao Employee Confidence and Satisfaction Index 2020

Consumer confidence is sitting at levels similar to that in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Macao Employee Confidence and Satisfaction Index 2020, which was published last Friday at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST).
The global spread of Covid-19 and the economic recession has weakened consumer confidence, particularly regarding the current Macau job market.
The survey results showed that the overall confidence index has dropped by 4.8%. Meanwhile, employee’s confidence toward Macau job market registered a significant fall of 14.2%. A similar pattern was found when the result was compared to the period after the 2008 financial crisis, when the overall index dropped 6.1% and job market confidence fell 15%.
The employee confidence towards the Macau job market index survey included items such as the difficulty of finding a job, chances to look for a better job and the employment situation in the next five years. The first two items in the index dropped by about one-fifth.
“One reason [for the severe impact caused by this pandemic] is due to Macau’s single-product economy [of gambling],” said Professor Sun Li-yun, one of the researchers.
Sun and his team suggested that Macau develop a diversified economy by expanding the cultural and creative industries. This would help to offset the negative impacts caused by external factors, such as a pandemic.
When asked about the situation for MUST graduates of this year, the professor stated that the survey only targeted people who were already working, and therefore graduating students were not included.
Macau’s overall unemployment rate has risen to 2.4%, a 0.7% increase compared to the last quarter of 2019. The local unemployment rate has also climbed up to 3.4%. Many graduates will face difficulty finding their first job in the city this summer.
The Macao Employee Confidence and Satisfaction Index was first conducted in 2007. In the following years, the study has been continued in order to make comparisons and to enhance communication between employers and employees. Staff reporter

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