Over 200,000 jobs lost since 2020, says Sivakumar

KUALA LUMPUR: More than 200,000 workers have lost their jobs since 2020, says the Human Resources Ministry.

Citing Employment Insurance System (SIP) statistics, its minister V. Sivakumar (pic) said 209,903 workers had lost their jobs from 2020 to Feb 28, 2023.

"Of the number, 47,168 were from the manufacturing sector; 31,434 from the retail and vehicle repair sector; 20,460 from the lodging and catering sector; 18,731 from the professional, scientific and technical sector and 15,686 from the construction sector," he said in a written reply to Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (BN-Sembrong) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (March 21).

Sivakumar added that almost 50% of businesses in Malaysia are predicted to downsize their workforce by 2025 due to automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs 2020 report.

Another 24% of businesses, however, are expected to recruit more workers due to new job opportunities (from automation and AI use), he said.

"The report also states that there would be a (overall) 9% reduction in the number of jobs," he said.

He added that the government was also undertaking various initiatives to promote the development of local expertise (in handling AI) as well as expanding more robust AI ecosystems.

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