The findings of a survey carried out by local think tank Collective Wisdom Policy Centre released on Sunday show that 65 per cent of local respondents said that they had to take unpaid leave or half-paid leave, became underemployed, had to accept a pay cut or even became unemployed due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy.
The findings also show that almost 90 per cent of the respondents said that they were worried about their current employment or livelihood situations.
The think tank is affiliated to the Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations, commonly known as Kai Fong.
The group hosted a press conference yesterday at its office in Avenida de Horta e Costa to present the findings of the survey about local residents’ confidence in their employment prospects amid the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Macao’s economy.
The survey was carried out early this month, when members of the think tank collected 936 valid questionnaires from local residents aged at least 18 in the street.
According to the findings, 56 per cent of the respondents said that they “remained cautious” about their employment prospects over the next 12 months, while 30 per cent said that they were pessimistic.
The findings show that 20 per cent of the respondents said that having been “forced” to take unpaid leave or half-paid leave was the major pressure they had faced concerning their employment, while 16 per cent said that they were underemployed, 15 per cent said that they were “forced” to accept a pay cut, and 14 per cent said that they had become unemployed.
According to the findings, 80 per cent of the respondents who were unemployed said that they were not confident that they would be able to get a new job within six months.
The findings also show that 70 per cent of the respondents said they believed that enhancing their job skills, willing to work overtime and performing their job well could help keep their current jobs.
Half of the respondents said that they were willing to accept no salary increase or even take a pay cut, according to the findings.
A vice-president of the think tank, Cheong Sok Leng, urged the government to continue discussing with the mainland authorities the gradual relaxation of border entry curbs and quarantine measures between the two regions with the aim of enabling a gradual recovery of Macao’s economy. She also suggested that the government plan in advance to help the future economic recovery proceed more quickly.
Cheong also urged the government to strengthen its ongoing occupational training programme for the unemployed and its social security system for the unemployed.