Hotels driving up the job market

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Employees across a variety of sectors in Macau kicked off the year by earning more than in the first quarter of last year.
According to the latest data released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), the hotel sector employed the largest number of full-time personnel (54,439) in the city, having also hired more workers than any other sector examined during the period, up 9.7 per cent year-on-year.
In addition to hotels, the sectors surveyed consisted of manufacturing; restaurants; insurance; financial intermediation activities; electricity, gas and water supply; childcare and elderly care.
The second most important increase in terms of recruitment was in childcare services, up 9.6 per cent from a year before, totalling 1,132 employees, although the second largest contingent in terms of labour force under scrutiny was found in restaurants, with 24,995 full-time employees for the first quarter, a 3.9 per cent drop year-on-year.
Manufacturing followed third, with 9,830 full-time employees, representing an increase of 8.3 per cent year-on-year.
Speaking to Business Daily, Frida Law Chi Ming, Senior Public Relations Officer of the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), said that the overall employability of their graduate students is high.
“Our students have lots of hands-on experience (…) and employers generally find [they have] good practical experience and strong team spirit,” she said.
Law added that according to a survey the Institute conducted for the years 2015-2016, 78.1 per cent of former IFT undergraduate students were working in the tourism and hospitality industry.
IFT – which has an Asian awarded hospitality programme – “has over 500 companies and organisations worldwide offering [their] students internship opportunities, including hotels, theme parks, the UK’s National Trust, NGOs, UNESCO, UNWTO and government departments,” said Ms. Law.

Average earnings breakdown
DSEC further noted that the most significant increase in terms of average earnings occurred in the insurance sector, up 8.4 per cent year-on-year to MOP26,770 in March 2017.
The second most important incremental increase in earnings was recorded in the sector of childcare, up 4.9 per cent from a year before, amounting to an average to MOP14,320 during the same month.
Although posting a less significant increase in average earnings when compared to insurance and childcare, the sector of electricity, gas, and water supply, up only 3.4 per cent year-on-year, had the highest average earning as of March, at MOP29,960.
As for hotels, the largest employer amongst the categories analysed by the DSEC, monthly earnings hit an average of MOP17,010, up 4 per cent from the same period last year.
Accordingly, recent IFT graduates from the 2015-2016 class were making on average MOP14,900 in their first jobs after graduation, Law told Business Daily.
Pay lower than the average in this case could be explained by the fact that ‘work experience’ corresponded to 52.5 per cent of the totality of recruitment prerequisites demanded in the sector, against only 5.1 per cent for ‘professional qualification.’
According to DSEC data, 100 per cent of the candidates for jobs in insurance were required to be capable of speaking English.
Business Daily also sought comments from the major local casino operators as the largest employers in the hospitality sector but several claimed they were either “not in a position to comment” or could not provide replies to our enquiries.