Agriculture, services sectors see highest percentage of job losses

PETALING JAYA: The agriculture (21.9%) and services (15%) sectors recorded the highest percentage of job losses due to the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a special survey “Effects of Covid-19 on Economy and Individuals” by the Statistics Department.

Chief statistician Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said for the agriculture sector, 33.0% of workers in the fisheries sub-sector reported job losses, followed by 21.1% in agriculture & plantation.

In the services sector, job losses in the food & beverage services sub-sector recorded 35.4%, followed by the transport & storage subsector with 18.7%.

Meanwhile, almost half (46.6%) of self-employed respondents reported losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak, while an estimated nine out of 10 respondents are still working with lower than usual salary.

In terms of financial savings, more than two-thirds (71.4%) of self-employed respondents have sufficient savings for less than one month. Only 6.2% of respondents said they are less affected and 52.6% of respondents informed that they are financially most affected.

About 69.7% of those who have worked for less than a year said their financial savings may only support less than a month, whereas 11.4% of those working for 21-30 years and 11.7% working over 30 years had sufficient financial savings up to four months.

The majority of respondents said they are unprepared if the duration of the movement control order was extended, except for employees under government-linked companies and multinational companies.

“The findings of this survey will assist the Malaysian government and people in addressing the effects of Covid-19 on the economy and employment. The assessments are based on respondents who participated in the special survey and do not signify the views of all Malaysians. Therefore, it should be interpreted carefully to assess the effects of Covid-19 in Malaysia as it is not the official statistics. However, it can be used to support the current state of matters,” Uzir said in a statement today.

A total of 168,182 respondents aged 15 years and above participated in the online survey from March 23 to 31, 2020.

He added that the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package is expected to facilitate these affected groups that will improvise the economy by generating disposable income as well as increasing the domestic consumption.