KUALA LUMPUR – January 16, 2019: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) warns that last year’s unemployment rate of 3.2 per cent may likely get worse this year.
MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan in issuing the warning today told The Mole that he agrees with an Ambank research wing’s prediction that this year will see unemployment rate rising.
He also said that some government policies are not helping the situation.
“In this uncertain economic times, it is not wise for the government to implement certain policies that would make it even harder for employers to provide employment opportunities.
“For example, the latest minimum wage hike to RM1,200 will further burden the employers in this already challenging economic times,” said Shamsuddin.
“I mean, just look at the small shops and kiosks in your neighbourhood which have closed shop and the many others that are in the process of closing down,” he added.
The AmBank research arm also stated in its economic report, published on the same day that the worse is not yet over, and that this year is going to be even worse for employees nationwide.
It predicted an increase in unemployment rate from 3.3 percent last year, to up to 3.6 per cent this year.
It also expects the number of job vacancies to decrease, as the first 10 months of last year recorded an average of 83,700 new jobs as compared to 92,200 in the review period.
Shamsuddin also said that the number of job vacancies listed online can be misleading as the real world figures may be different.
Citing findings by the Education Ministry’s Graduate Tracer Study (SKPG) for 2018, he told The Mole that nearly 60 percent of first degree holder have remain unemployed a year after graduating.
In hopes that the government will take the necessary action to mitigate the problem, Shamsuddin recommended that it provide incentives for employers to create more jobs which could cushion the predicted increase of unemployment rate.