Trends in job satisfaction and other key HR indicators 2015-2017



There are 4 key variables monitored by the MHRM Project over time. These are general job satisfaction, perceived fairness of compensation and benefits, job stress, and intent to stay at organizations.  All 4 variables are measured along a 5-point Likert scale ranged from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). For the definition of the concepts used in this report, as well as details of the methodology employed and a profile of the study's respondent characteristics, please visit here.


General trends


Compared to previous years, all four HR indicators recorded their highest ratings in 2015.  After then all indicators went in a less than desired direction.  Employees' Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit dropped to below 3.4 in 2016 and 2017, while Intent to Stay decreased to just above 3.1 in the same period.  General Job Satisfaction decreased to 3.47 and 3.39 in these 2 years. Job Stress, which is measured in opposite scale, troughed in 2015 (score 2.72) and then rose in 2016 and 2017 to 2.88 and 2.99.

Overall scenario shows that employees in Macao's labour force show a slightly worried situation: Employees feel less satisfied with their jobs, more stressed, feel less fairly paid, and have lower intent to stay at their organisations.

Trends by industry


Focusing on the years 2015 and 2017 and viewing the 4 HR indicators across different industries, alarming similarities can be found among them.  All industries scored lower in Job Satisfaction rating in 2017.  At the same time, all but finance sectors scored a higher Job Stress score while all but F&B sectors recorded a lower intent-to-stay score

Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit score was less monotonic, compared with the other 3 indicators.  Still the majority of sectors recorded a lower score in 2017, but among them finance, retail and wholesale and travel agencies are the few exceptions found themselves with a higher score in 2017.

Trends by personal monthly income


Considering these 4 HR indicators relative to different levels of respondents’ personal monthly income, the highest income group (i.e., those with income more than $40,000) showed higher level of Job Satisfaction, Intent to Stay and Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit than the other income groups.  In Job Stress category, in 2017 there is no significant difference among all income groups, with score ranged narrowly between 2.91 and 3.03.

Trends by job position


Similar to previous findings, the graphs show that in 2017 the higher an employee is in job position, the higher the rating in all but Job Stress indicators.  But actually in this year, Job Stress scores are not significantly different among various job level.  This may further deepen the desperate situation of those who are not at top level.

Trends by work arrangement


Compared with 2015, as a general trend in 2017, employees record a higher level of job stress, but lower level of job satisfaction, loyalty and perceived level of C&B, regardless of job arrangement.  Although both groups suffered a drop in score, those work in shift shows a relatively mild change than those in fixed shifts.

Trends by educational attainment


Examining the 4 HR indicators by employees' level of educational attainment, compared with 2015, in 2017 candidates of different educational level largely suffered a worse result, except the doctoral employees in the Perceived Fairness of Compensation and Benefit, and the Intent to Stay score of employees received vocational education.

Trends by residence status


Compared between 2015 & 2017, scores in 4 indicators fared differently.  Job satisfaction and loyalty suffered significant drop in all residential status.  At the same time, local employees think that they are not as fairly paid as before, while non-permanent employees experience lower stress level.

Trends by marital status


Compared with findings in 2015, generally in 2017 employees think they are less fairly paid, have lower level of job satisfaction and loyalty, and higher level of stress, no matter they are single or married.

Trends by presence of children


Even more significantly than the previous exhibits, whether employees have children or not, they tend to have worse experience in all 4 indicators in 2017 than 2015.

Trends by gender


More or less the same as the presence of children finding, employees tend to experience less pleasant fare in 2017 than 2015, no matter male or female.



Generally speaking, group felt relatively happier (higher C&B, job satisfaction and loyalty, and lower job stress score) in 2017 is those:

  • who work in the finance & F&B sector
  • with higher monthly income levels
  • who occupy top positions at their organizations
  • who are not local residents
  • married with children.


In contrast, employees who are less than happy include those:

  • working in gaming and construction sector,
  • working at entrance job level with middle pay ($20,000 to $30,000), and
  • working on rotational shift


Employers may want to understand their situation in order to improve their psycho-social status and so that companies can retain as many of their talents as possible.