JobStreet: The job employment market is recovering – but employee unhappiness index has risen during MCO

With the Mandatory Control Order (MCO) restrictions being progressively lifted, the job employment market has started to recover according to the latest study by JobStreet.

Its country manager, Gan Bock Herm ( 颜木欣 – pic ) said that there appears to be a positive outlook in hiring trends, quoting the findings from JobStreet’s COVID-19 Job Report released recently.

The study showed that some 74% of employers expect to make new hires in the next six months.

“Our research appears to be aligned with finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz’s optimism that Malaysia is on track for recovery in 2021 based on the unemployment rate recovering to 4.9% in June, from a record high of 5.3% in May,” said Gan.

JobStreet has also observed a growing trend of employers seeking out expertise for emerging IT roles such as data analysts, artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists together with experienced digital transformation professionals.

“COVID-19 and the MCO restrictions have changed the way companies operate. As part of the new normal, companies are adopting various digital and online measures resulting in high demand for skills related to digital and IT” said Gan.

“Hence it comes as no surprise that the top three industries looking for talent is led by IT, followed by manufacturing and banking/financial services.”

Malaysian workers more unhappy with quality of life

Despite the above optimistic findings, the report also highlighted a sharp drop in employees’ quality of life since MCO was introduced, said Gan.

A total of 44% of all respondents reported themselves as being unhappy with their quality of life, or four times the 11% who said the same prior to MCO.

The industries most directly affected included hospitality/catering, tourism/travel, media/publishing, and beauty care.

“Since March, 1 in 3 employees have had their livelihoods disrupted, with 18% permanently retrenched due to Covid-19 and 11% temporarily not working, although still technically employed.”

Besides, 48% reported a negative impact on their remuneration, with 35% of those who had their salaries cut having experienced a reduction of more than 30%.

Employees have also experienced significant changes to their work-life balance, with 58% being required to work from home, while 39% of respondents experienced an increase in their workload.

Need for responsiveness, resilience, and rising above challenges  

“JobStreet’s mission is to improve people’s lives through better careers. Toward this end, we want to be able to provide the necessary as well as relevant information, insights and tools to enable businesses and individuals to succeed and thrive,” said Gan.

He explained that, by knowing the trends in the industry and employment landscape better, employers, as well as job-seekers can make better and more informed decisions about their organisations and their careers.

During the MCO period, JobStreet had introduced several initiatives under its #TogetherAhead campaign including the #WorkNow initiative, which, according to Gan, has helped connect 20,000 Malaysian job-seekers with potential employers.

“It has helped displaced job-seekers to let potential employers know that they are ready to work immediately and enabled companies to identify and access job-seekers that are available for urgent hiring.”

For more information on JobStreet’s Covid-19 Job Report (August 2020), please click here

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