Over 675,000 jobs created this year, but hiring slow

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN & DASHVEENJIT KAUR

OVER 675,000 jobs were added between January and August this year but hiring remained slow, said Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran (picture).

A total of 50,326 jobs were created for graduates as at August 2019, while 624,979 vacancies were registered over the same period for the non-graduate category.

“The big problem is that there are a lot of vacancies in the job market, but young people are not taking them up,” Kulasegaran told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Barisan Nasional-Bera) who inquired on the progress of Pakatan Harapan’s promise to create one million jobs in five years, which the former is confident of fulfilling.

Kulasegaran said the jobs created this year were not only in the 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult) category — but also involved over 6,000 positions in management, 22,000 positions as technicians and associate professionals, and 150,000 positions in green economy.

Last Friday, IHS Markit Ltd noted that a rise in employment in its monthly industrial report as an increasing number of firms reported renewed expansion plans.

Despite the ongoing US-China trade war, Malaysia’s October industrial production soared to its highest in six months on improved new orders and output. The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 49.3 in October from 47.9 in September.

Meanwhile, on retrenchment, Kulasegaran said 24,600 workers were laid off as of September 30, 2019. Out of the total, 21,625 or 87.9% involved regular lay-offs while 2,975 (12.1%) were done via voluntary separation scheme (VSS).

Workers affected were mainly in the manufacturing sector, which recorded a total of 7,944 or 32.3% of total retrenchments, followed by the administrative and support services sector with 7,309 lay-offs (29.7%), and trade, wholesale and retail sector with 2,123 (8.63%).

The financial and insurance sector also recorded 1,748 retrenchments (7.11%), while 1,049 and 679 people lost their jobs in the accommodation and food services sector and information and communications sector respectively.

In 2018, a total of 23,168 private sector workers were terminated due to the slowdown in global growth, the US-China trade tensions and the deferment of several mega projects which had forced many companies to downsize.

Kulasegaran said the highest retrenchment was recorded in the manufacturing sector involving 11,254 employees, representing 48.58% of the total figure, followed by the information and communications sector with 1,997 employees or 8.62%.

Of the total number of retrenched workers, 17,236 cases or 74.4% involved regular retrenchment exercise, while 5,932 cases or 25.6% were under VSS, he said.