Malaysians can expect more job cuts this year. Already, companies are downsizing and many have started to freeze hiring.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) says that economic challenges and the introduction of “disruptive technology” have led employers to review their staffing needs.
“I think slightly more workers will be retrenched this year,” said executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan after the Taxation and Employer seminar jointly hosted by the Inland Revenue Board and MEF recently.
He added that in 2015, about 44,000 workers lost their jobs, with 18,000 coming from the banking sector. He cites “disruptive technology” like adopting online transactions as one of the reasons.
Up to September last year, about 40,000 workers were retrenched. Though the complete data for 2016 has not been released, he expected numbers would be higher than the previous year.
Other industries likely to face the axe include insurance, manufacturing and construction. According to Datuk Shamsuddin, many clients prefer dealing directly with the companies for their services and this would mean middlemen or agents losing their relevance.
“However, these agents are not really part of the retrenchment rate because they are considered to be self-employed,” he said.