More workers likely to lose jobs in 2020, says AmBank Research

Employers are expected to retrench more workers this year, says AmBank Research.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s unemployment rate could increase from 3.3% to between 3.4% and 3.6% in 2020, according to AmBank Research, as retrenchment exercises begin to pick up the pace.

The bank’s research arm said 2019 saw an estimated 37,260 people laid off compared to 23,697 in 2018, with expectations of more downsizing to occur this year.

It also predicted more people to begin looking for job opportunities in the informal sector.

This comes after the unemployment rate for November remained at 3.2% for the second consecutive month, hitting a 48-month low.

“Based on the labour market data, private consumption will be the anchor for the economic growth in 2019 and 2020.

“However, consumer sentiment is sliding based on the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research survey, which showed a reading of 84 in the third quarter of 2019, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2017,” it said in an economic report published today.

It added that the number of job vacancies is decreasing, as the first 10 months of 2019 recorded an average of 83,700 jobs compared to 92,200 in the review period.

It reiterated the country’s GDP growth rate at 4.5% and 4.6% for 2019 and 2020 respectively, supported by exports, private consumption and gross fixed capital formation.