Covid-19, unemployment main concerns among Malaysians

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE Covid-19 pandemic and unemployment are top of the list of the most worrying issues in Malaysia, according to a recent survey by global market researcher Ipsos Group SA.

Of the total 500 Malaysian adults aged between 16 and 74 polled per month, 85% stated that Covid-19 is a worrying topic in April, while 43% are concerned about unemployment.

The figure for unemployment has increased by 1% from the previous month.

Another topic that is also a concern for 30% of the respondents is financial or political corruption.

Meanwhile, 66% of Malaysians believe the country is generally moving in the right direction, an increase from the 35% recorded in March.

On the global front, Malaysians are ranked as the seventh most worried citizens regarding unemployment, out of 28 participating countries in the survey.

The Spanish topped the list with 60% of the respondents show concerns on unemployment, followed by South Africans (58%), Italians (56%), South Koreans (55%), Australians (48%) and Chileans (46%).

Citizens that are least worried about unemployment are the British and Germans, where only 16% viewed unemployment as a worry.

For the global poll, a total of 19,505 individuals were surveyed in the month of April.

Bank Negara Malaysia forecasts the country’s unemployment rate to increase to 4% or 629,000 individuals this year, from 3.3% in 2019.

During the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, the unemployment rate in the country stood at 3.7%. The rate was at 3.2% during the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

In February, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) forecasted unemployment in the country to rise in tourism-related sectors in the first quarter (1Q) of the year as the pandemic disrupts travel plans and supply chains globally.

It said unemployment in industries such as recreational services and air travel could increase between 0.5% and 0.8%, and 1.8% and 3.5% respectively.