Friday, January 30, 2009

Job Market in Malaysia

Today, New Straits Times carried a few articles that is related to job market.

Read here and here .

KUALA LUMPUR: Unemployment in Malaysia could reach six per cent this year, its highest in more than 20 years, as the economy slows down significantly, economist Datuk Dr Zainal Aznam Yusof said.
But as the economy picks up again, unemployment will fall to four to five per cent in 2010.

The government expects the economy to grow by 3.5 per cent this year, from a targeted 6-6.5 per cent growth last year.

Zainal Aznam believes that the country's gross domestic product would likely experience a severe slowdown to two per cent this year.

"It is a shock to the system and the brunt is on employment."
Malaysia has a working population of 11 million. A six per cent rate translates into 660,000 unemployed people.

"We should brace for a large overhang of unemployed, especially when the graduates enter the job market."

Zainal Aznam, who is a member of the high-level National Economic Council, said retrenchment was anticipated across all sectors of the economy although the bulk would be in export-oriented industries.

"So far, the (monthly) retrenchment is not huge yet, but it is going up," he said.

Most of the laid-off workers in the construction and plantation sectors are expected to be foreigners, while it is the other way around in the services and manufacturing sectors.

The services sector, which is likely to recover fastest from the global slowdown, is expected to cushion the economic slowdown as it provides jobs.

The sub-sectors with potential include financial, tourism, education, health, information communication technology, professional services, construction-related services and manufacturing-related services.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam has said that more than 45,000 factory workers could be temporarily laid off during the Chinese New year period due to a drop in orders.

They have been asked to take paid or unpaid leave for two or three weeks during the festive period.

Human Resources Ministry statistics show that 7,500 workers were laid off between October last year and Jan 14. The number included 2,000 foreigners in various sectors.

Most of the retrenchment was in the manufacturing sector involving local manufacturers and foreign multinationals.

The official unemployment rate for last year is not out yet, but the ministry has said that the number of retrenched workers should be around the previous year's 30,000.

A total of 102 employers had reported to the ministry that they would lay off 4,700 workers between this month and March.

The majority of these workers are in the electrical and electronics sector.

This includes 1,500 Western Digital workers who will be made redundant when the hard-drive disc manufacturer winds down its Sarawak plant by March.

Ministry secretary-general Thomas George, who chairs a committee set up to monitor retrenchment in view of the global slowdown, said retrenchment was at a manageable level.

"It is consistent with the global trend of having leaner and more productive organisations," he said earlier this month.

KUALA LUMPUR: A three-day week may be on the cards for companies and factories if workers and employers agree to shorten operations, Labour director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim said yesterday.
He said the government's main concern was to ensure minimal job loss and for companies to continue operating.

He said it was necessary for employers to get the consent of workers, who would be paid less if they worked fewer days.

"It is the duty of the department to ensure that workers are adequately protected and, at the same time, companies do not lose out."

He felt that it would be ideal if employers, workers and unions worked together for the good of the nation.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) is of the view that it is better for workers to take a temporary pay cut than to lose their jobs.

"As employers, we do not want to lose our employees and will do our best to retain as many as possible," MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said.

"However, economic conditions are such that we sometimes have no choice but to cut back on employment to keep afloat ."

Since Jan 1, about 10,000 workers had lost their jobs, with more expected to face the axe if the economic situation did not change for the better, he said.

He added that although the United States and Europe were the worst affected by the global crisis, Malaysia would not be spared either as it was a major trading nation and depended a lot on exports to these markets.

The government had proposed that retrenched workers be paid RM500 monthly while waiting for a new job.

They may also be retrained to acquire new skills or improve on existing skills.

However, according to Ismail, the mechanics of the payment and training was still being worked out.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress has pledged to cooperate with the government and employers to ride out the difficult times.

Its secretary-general, G. Rajasegaran, said all affiliates had been informed to extend their cooperation and maintain industrial harmony.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad advised workers facing retrenchment or whose companies were folding up to contact the ministry for assistance.

She said the Labour Department would place the names of the affected workers in its Workers Mini Carnival programme.

"We will retrain workers who have been retrenched and give them RM500 each for the duration of their training," she said. -- Bernama

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joee said...

Hey, Chen. This is Jo Ee from Taylor's. You have a great post indeed. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing the information.

Chen Chow said...

Thank you, Jo Ee!