Kula: More lay-offs in private sector this year

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 5, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The government recorded more lay-offs in the private sector in the first nine months of 2019, compared with that for the whole of 2018, Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran said yesterday.

In the Dewan Rakyat, the minister said based on employers’ notifications, there were 24,600 lay-offs until Sept 30, 2019, compared with 23,168 in 2018.

“From the 2019 figure, 21,625 employees (87.9%) underwent a normal discontinuation, while 2,975 (12.1%) were involved in the VSS (voluntary separation scheme),” said Kulasegaran.

The manufacturing sector was most affected with 7,944 employees involved, followed by administrative and support services (7,309), trading (2,123), finance and insurance (1,748), accommodation and food and beverage services (1,049), as well as information and communications (679).

In 2018, 17,236 employees (74.4%) underwent a normal discontinuation and 5,932 (25.6%) the VSS, he added.

Kula was responding to Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s (Pakatan Harapan-Jeli) question on lay-offs in all sectors in 2018 and 2019, as well as the number of jobs created in 2019.

Kula said until August this year, there were 50,326 job vacancies in the private sector for the graduate category and 647,979 for non-graduates.

On the gig economy, Kula said the government is conducting a thorough study on related laws and regulations, as well as to introduce more initiatives to encourage greater participation among youths.

“We have a problem where there are many job vacancies, but no one taking on those jobs.”