Study Revealed Less Macao Employees Feel Supported During COVID-19 Compared to Hong Kong

 

A research conducted by CSG reveals that 28% of Macao employees felt that they are not supported by their employers during these uncertain times, as compared to 20% in Hong Kong. 36% of older (aged more than 50) and 31% of blue-collar workers reported higher needs of support than younger (21%) and white-collar professional (22%) respectively.

 

HONG KONG, Thursday, 9th Apr 2020: The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across all corners of the world. In Macao, the government has implemented strict control and taken measures to contain the virus from spreading. The government ensured stable supply of protective materials (such as masks and hand sanitizers) and daily necessities are ensured to the publics. Despite the effort from the government to contain the spread of the virus, Macao respondents viewed their employer’s effort differently; 28% of employees in Macao felt that the support from their employers were inadequate. The figure is 8% higher than that of Hong Kong (Figure 1). In particular, more residents aged 50 or above (36%) and blue-collars (31%) expressed the inadequacy of support. (Figure 2).

 

Figure 1

 

Figure 2

 

 

Looking into the support that are the most needed by the Macao residents, 25% mentioned their needs for mask and sanitary product, whilst 20% expressed that they need financial support and 7% economic policies to strengthen economy (Figure 3).

Figure 3

 

Despite Macao residents’ negative perception of employers’ support than their Hong Kong counterparts, their views on the virus’ impact on Macao’s economy is comparatively more positive. Forty-two-percent of Macao residents believed that this pandemic will have an extremely negative impact on local economy, much lower than the 59% recorded among Hong Kong residents. Moreover, 10% of Macao residents believe that their city’s economy will not be negatively affected by this pandemic, compared with only 3% among Hong Kong residents (Figure 4). However, when asked to compare the economic impact of this pandemic with SARS’s in 2003, residents in both cities have similar views – majority (80%) believed that COVID-19’s economic impacts would be more severe than SARS’. (Figure 5)

Figure 4

 

Figure 5

 

 

Due to social distancing, more purchases have been switched from offline to online. Although masks and daily necessities are among the top items citizens from both regions have purchased online, they are of lower priority in Macao than in Hong Kong. Food takeaways, instead, have taken the 1st spot, reflecting citizens’ lower intention to dine out (Table 1).

 

Rank Macao Hong Kong
1st Food takeaways (49%) Mask (57%)
2nd Mask (45%) Daily Necessities (53%)
3rd Cleaning supplies (37%) Cleaning supplies (52%)
4th Daily Necessities (19%) Food takeaways (29%)
5th Clothing / Electronics (11%) Health supplies (22%)

Table 1 Top categories that Macao and Hong Kong online shoppers had purchased during the virus outbreak

(Online shopper: Macao n=147; Hong Kong n = 423)

 

When it comes to information about the virus, 78% of Macao residents place more trust in social media compared to Hong Kong (51%) (Figure 6).

Figure 6

 

 

Lastly, despite the continuous spread of the virus, 80% of Macao residents believe that this pandemic will be over by the end of Q2 2020; only 70% of Hong Kong residents have the same view – with the remaining portion believing the pandemic would last for an even longer period (Figure 7).

Figure 7

 

This research revealed that Macao residents are more optimistic to the pandemic than Hong Kong residents in terms of its impact on the economy and the duration that it would last. While the result shows some Macao residents expect more supports from their employers, more attention should be paid to the older and blue-collar workers who may need more help. Derek Yu, Research Director of CSG, commented that ‘the Macao government’s decisive action has kept the impact of the disease from spreading to a minimum. However, the global pandemic has shut down the tourism worldwide. As a tourism city, Macao is seriously suffering from standstill of economic activities and tourism that would be likely to last for an extended period. More short-term financial relief may be necessary for the survival of enterprises, especially for the small and medium ones, and empower them to get through the hard times together with their staff. In long run, the government should work with private sectors to create work and business opportunities.”

 

 

About the Survey

The survey was jointly initiated by CSG and Macao Research Center (MRC), CSG’s subsidiary in Macao. The survey was conducted in the week of 24 February with 525 residents in Hong Kong and 319 residents in Macao.