Macau – Unemployment in the gambling capital of the world has soared to its highest in a decade as the impact of Covid-19 hits local economy hard.
Reportedly, unemployment figures had jumped more than two percent compared with the same period last year as businesses struggle to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The figures are worrying, as the rate of unemployment is only the second time in a decade that it has risen above two percent. However, the figures are not surprising given the fact that the Macau economy is dominated by the gaming and hospitality industry.
Gambling tourism is Macau’s biggest source of revenue, making up about 50% of the economy and visitors are made up largely of Chinese nationals from mainland China and Hong Kong; two nations of which severe travel restrictions are in place.
Macau is dubbed the Monte Carlo of the East and usually grosses the highest amount of gambling revenue in the world.
According to reports, the current number of unemployed residents has risen to around 8,500, a figure largely dominated by the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants.
Since the liberalisation of the casino industry to allow foreign investors, Macau’s regional economy grew by a double-digit annual growth rate from 2002 to 2014, making Macau one of the richest economies in the world on a per capita basis. Macau currently has 41 casinos, 17 of which are located on the Macau Peninsula and 17 on the Cotai Strip, many of which make up a large portion of employment figures in the special administrative region.