Skip to content
Market Insights Candidate insights 8 in 10 retrenched Malaysians are job hunting amid COVID-19
8 in 10 retrenched Malaysians are job hunting amid COVID-19

8 in 10 retrenched Malaysians are job hunting amid COVID-19

Amid layoffs and pay cuts due to the COVID-19 crisis, majority of retrenched Malaysians are actively on the job hunt.

Companies have been struggling with retrenchment across the globe, laying off their workforces to cut their losses amid the COVID-19 crisis. So is the case in Malaysia, where the economic slowdown is expected to lead to 1 million layoffs this year, according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF). Aside from tourism, the manufacturing and retail sectors are expected to be the worst-hit by the pandemic’s economic impact.1 

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan also added that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has predicted the country’s unemployment rate to be at 4%, without taking into account the number of unemployed Malaysians and fresh university graduates who would be entering the market.2

That said, there is a beam of hope: Malaysia has relaxed its Movement Control Order (MCO) and transitioned to a “recovery phase”, where majority of businesses have reopened. National economic stimulus packages have also been rolled out to cushion the blow and regenerate the country’s economy. 

Amid positive news, the majority of retrenched Malaysians are actively seeking work in spite of the crisis. In a survey conducted by JobStreet, 8 in 10 retrenched Malaysians are job hunting, who make up 54% of over 5,000 respondents. From that figure, the number of active jobseekers was even higher among those permanently laid off due to the crisis at 81%.

Meanwhile, 27% of those surveyed said they were monitoring for opportunities but have not yet applied for jobs. On the other hand, 15% of respondents were not actively seeking employment but would consider if a new opportunity came along.

The survey clearly demonstrates the willingness of Malaysians to return to work—yet the crisis also seems to have ushered in changes in jobseekers’ concerns and experiences. 66% of respondents who were currently unemployed said that they were concerned about their personal or family’s finances. These respondents also expressed worry about the difficulties of the job application process: 63% shared that they experienced a lower success rate in getting interviews, while 60% encountered less suitable jobs being advertised.

In spite of their concerns, jobseekers remain positive. According to the study, 59% of those actively job hunting are relatively optimistic, keeping their options open as they move forward from the effects of the crisis.

As we enter the new normal, rebuilding and retaining your company’s teams is crucial in ensuring a successful recovery post-COVID-19. To do this, it is essential to find the right jobseekers who bring the right skills and mindset to the table—and what forces attract them and make them stay.

The Laws of Attraction study by JobStreet is an extensive recruitment resource that compiles industry-leading insights and comprehensive data from over 10,000 local jobseekers across 25 industries.   

As Malaysians continue to apply for jobs, the Laws of Attraction (LOA) Study has found that jobseekers from different generations are driven by various factors. According to its insights, all Malaysian jobseekers except Gen Z prioritise Salary and Compensation, along with Work-Life balance; Gen Z, on the other hand, value Personal Growth and Career Development the most as they begin to enter the workforce. Gen Y jobseekers are also drawn to Career Development in a job role, with opportunities such as overseas training and promotion.

Meanwhile, Job Security also appeals to Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomers due to responsibilities and financial commitments such as supporting a family. The LOA study also revealed that the majority of the Malaysian workforce are composed of Gen X and Gen Y talents, comprising 45% and 40%, respectively.

Despite the difficulties from the COVID-19 crisis, jobseekers continue to be positive as they take steps to move forward. While Malaysia and the rest of the world begin to rebuild from the pandemic’s effects, JobStreet is committed to connecting hirers and job seeker proving that #TogetherAhead, it is possible to rise above challenges.

JobStreet has launched a Jobs and Resource Hub  to offer guidance to both businesses and individuals through this crucial time. 

By connecting jobseekers with over 730,000 quarterly applicants hiring employers in Malaysia, JobStreet puts into action its strong conviction that #TogetherAhead, we rise above our challenges.


Subscribe to Market Insights

Get expert Market Insights delivered to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe from emails at any time. By clicking ‘subscribe’ you agree to our SEEK’s Privacy Statement