According to the Social Security Organisation (Socso), nearly 90,000 Malaysians have lost their jobs so far this year. Socso CEO Mohammed Azman Aziz said the organisation had received reports on 89,596 cases of loss of employment as of Oct 22, with an average of nearly 10,000 cases every month.
“This represents an increase of 278% compared with 2019. “If this trend continues, loss of employment cases are estimated to be more than 100,000 by the end of 2020.
The organisation observed that the alarming figure started to increase in May when the government implemented the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and continued to spike in July when the recovery MCO commenced. However, the trend started to stabilise in mid-July.
Manufacturing sector had been the worst-hit, followed by accommodation and food and beverage industry
The data shown that the manufacturing sector had been the worst-hit, with 20,492 job losses, making up 23% of cases. The second highest job losses is accommodation and food and beverage industry with 13,053 cases (15%) and the retail industry with 12,450 cases (14%).
From the total cases recorded, 58% of job losses were recorded in the Klang Valley, whereas Selangor and Kuala Lumpur seeing 27,619 and 23,882 cases of loss of employment respectively. Penang was third-highest in the country, with 9,489 cases, or 11% of the total.
The professional category is the most affected with 23,022 cases in total
“In terms of occupation, the professional category is the most affected, with 23,022 (26%) cases, followed by technician jobs with 17,240 (19%) and managerial positions with 11,762 (13%),” Azman said.
He also stated that the third wave as we are experiencing currently had caused huge uncertainty in the labour market. If we can avoid a full lockdown and the economy recovers, Socso expects 20,000 – 25,000 job losses in the first quarter of 2021.
He predicts the unemployment rate by year-end or in 1Q21 could be between 4% and 4.5%, although these figures were uncertain.
Socso had implemented various active labour market policies to help stabilise the unemployment rate
One of the factors influencing Malaysia’s unemployment rate was active government intervention through programmes like Prihatin, Penjana and Kita Prihatin. Besides, Socso had also implemented various active labour market policies to stabilise the unemployment rate, including the Hiring Incentive Programme (Penjana Kerjaya) and the wage subsidy scheme.
Furthermore, another factor that greatly influencing the unemployment rate was Malaysia’s ability to contain the pandemic while sustaining economic activities. He believes the unemployment rates can be further reduced if new graduates and school-leavers who will enter the labour market this year take part in reskilling and upskilling programmes.