About half of those who lost their jobs this year were workers within the Klang Valley, said Human Resource Minister M Kulasegaran.
He cited changes in industries and the fast pace of the employment market as among the main contributors to 5,902 or 27.4 percent of workers in Selangor and 4,767 or 22.1 percent in Kuala Lumpur losing their jobs.
"The numbers are followed by Johor (2,536 workers or 11.8 percent) and Penang (1,328/ 6.2 percent). There are many reasons for the retrenchments and some are just due to work cycles,” he told the media after chairing the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur today.
He also revealed that from Jan 1 to Dec 7 this year, 21,532 people lost their jobs nationwide.
"A significant number, 7,755 workers who lost their jobs are those from the top three high paying jobs namely managers, professionals and technicians besides associate professionals that require diplomas and degrees for entry qualification.
"These three categories are limited and they also have to compete with fresh graduates," he said.
Kulasegaran also elaborated on efforts put in place by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) in trying to get those retrenched back into the workforce.
“As of December 7, Socso’s Employment Services Division has succeeded in placing 6,292 people back into the workforce, in various occupations and industries,” he added.
Meanwhile, to solve the issue of runaway foreign workers, he said a technical committee will look into the proposal on deducting 20 percent of foreign workers basic salaries holistically.
"The committee will revert to ministry with their findings on Jan 29. It has to also get the approval from cabinet, then Parliament, these are challenges but I think it will work well for the foreign workers," he said.
Yesterday, the Human Resources Ministry had proposed for employers to deduct 20 percent of their foreign workers’ basic salaries which is aimed at preventing foreign workers from fleeing and to avoid employers from incurring losses on investments to bring the workers in.