KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 22): A quarter of Malaysian employees are experiencing job insecurity — or the fear of losing their employment — amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by YouGov.
In a statement, the market research agency said this marked a 5% increase from pre-pandemic levels.
YouGov said out of 655 full-time employees polled, 6% felt “very insecure” while 19% felt “somewhat insecure”; in contrast, 18% of them said they did not feel secure or insecure, and the remaining 57% said they felt secure in their jobs.
“The middle-income earners (monthly household income between RM4,000 to RM7,999) are the most (64%) likely to feel secure in their jobs. Whereas low-income earners (monthly household of less than RM4,000 a month) are the least (53%) likely to say the same,” said the agency.
However, the survey also found that a whopping 92% of workers felt some level of stress over losing their jobs, in comparison with only 8% who reported feeling “not at all stressed”.
Out of all employees who felt stressed, 23% reported feeling a little stressed, 47% felt somewhat stressed, while 23% felt very stressed.
“Unsurprisingly, those who are feeling ‘very insecure’ in their jobs are the most likely to feel very stressed with 44% of them saying so, as opposed to those who feel ‘very secure’ (14%),” added YouGov.
In the event they lost their jobs tomorrow, 71% of respondents believe it will be hard to find another one with similar pay and benefits, with 40% saying it will be “somewhat difficult” while 31% believe it will be “very difficult”.
Meanwhile, 18% of respondents were indifferent, and the remaining 7% said they would find it easy to find another job.
According to YouGov, all income groups appear to find it equally difficult to find another job as 28% believe they will only be able to find a new job within three months should they find themselves unemployed tomorrow.
The agency said 18% of respondents believe it will take them between three to six months to find a new job, while 23% believe it will take them between six months to a year. About 15% think it will take more than a year for them to land a new job, while the remaining 15% are unsure.
About 41% of respondents said they were willing to take a pay cut of up to a fifth of their current salary if they had to find another job with a similar position, while 20% were willing to take a pay cut of between 21% and 40%; 13%, meanwhile, were willing to take a pay cut exceeding 40%.
“Low-income earners are the most willing to take a pay cut of more than 40%, and high-income earners are the least willing (15% vs 4%). A quarter (26%) are unwilling to take any sort of pay cut. Men are also less willing to take a pay cut than women (23% vs 29%),” it said.