Macao's gaming market liberalization proves big job creator
The opening-up of Macao's vitally important gaming industry to international competition is expected to create some 22,000 jobs over next few years.
Sunday's Ponto Final, Macao's largest Portuguese-language newspaper, said that the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government's decision to break the 40-year monopoly of the gaming market by tycoon Stanley Ho Hung Sun in 2001 would help solve the unemployment problem in the next few years.
The newspaper made a string of interviews with Macao gaming-industry representatives earlier this month, which showed that the currently four casino operators would create around 22,000 new jobs over the next few years, which would correspond to 10 percent of Macao's present workforce.
The four companies comprise Stanley Ho's Macao Gaming Co. Ltd (SJM), Wynn Resorts, Galaxy Resort and Casino and The Venetian, which operates as a separately managed sub-concession of Galaxy. All of the casino operators are brewing expansion or new launches of business in the next few years.
The newspaper quoted several economists as saying that half of Macao's currently 12,000 jobless residents would be able to land jobs in the gaming sector. However, the rest of the jobless would be just too poorly qualified for the new employment opportunities.
According to official statistics, Macao has a workforce of around 220,000, including 12,000 unemployed residents, out of a population of 448,000. Macao's officially measured unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in February. Around 100,000 of Macao's residents are students.
The job market also logged some 25,000 transient workers from the mainland, the Philippines and elsewhere.
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