Around 72,000 workers were retrenched since the government enforced the movement control order (MCO) from March to date, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said.
Quoting the latest statistics from the Social Security Organisation (Socso), Saravanan stated the statistics do not count those who work in informal businesses as they are not registered with Socso.
"Right now, those who have registered with Socso are among those who have been let go and searching for jobs is about 72,000 people. This is the figure as of early September, taken from early March 2020.
"We do not have the data for Informal sectors. For example, unregistered eateries that did not register with Socso," Saravanan said. He added that his ministry also does not have the precise data on the number of food and beverage shops that have since shut down.
High unemployment among youths
The minister also said about 500,000 youths are currently unemployed, based on the government's data in May that put the total unemployment rate at that point at 5.3%, or 826,100 people. Saravanan said he believes the gig economy could help jobless youths create income while searching for job openings.
He said that as of September, the number of job seekers in the country could grow to one million, attributing the rise to an additional 350,000 fresh graduates and 200,000 Malaysians returning from overseas.
Saravanan said one possible sector for growth that could offer employment would be in services. He said the service sector needs more workers now since the government has been forced to limit its intake of foreign workers.
"The government does not allow foreign workers at the moment to give more chances to local employees. Therefore I have asked all industry players, especially in the service sector, frontlines such as cashiers, among others to utilise local workers," he said.
72,000 workers were retrenched during the Movement Control Order (MCO), while 500,000 youths are currently unemployed.
EIS job loss statistics in July
Back in July, 50,825 workers registered for a loss of employment under the Employment Insurance System (EIS), according to the Human Resource Ministry. The ministry said the EIS had paid out RM107.8 million to 66,204 claimants as of June 26, more than the total of RM107.6 million claimed by 66,650 people for the entirety of last year.
"The number of Malaysians who lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as of July 1, 2020, is 50,825 people. The breakdown, according to the employment sectors involved, is as follows:
Manufacturing Sector: 11,432 or 23%.
Accommodation and Food Service Activities Sector and Beverages: 7,497 or 15%.
Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector: 7,129 or 14%.
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities: 4,546 or 9%," it said.
Prioritising local job seekers
The government pledged to guarantee that local job seekers, including graduates, continue to be incorporated into the country's employment sector in the fields that best fit their qualifications.
Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said any job opening must be offered to local job seekers first especially considering these challenging periods of the current pandemic.
"In realising this effort, the government has agreed to require employers to advertise all job vacancies on the JobsMalaysia Portal within at least 30 days before they intend to hire foreign workers and expatriates.
"It is aimed at letting all departments or agencies under the ministry to have sufficient time to implement the job matching process and be able to prioritise local job seekers," the minister said.
Source: Malay Mail
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