Over 36,000 Malaysians were unemployed between October 2008 and December last year, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Maznah Mazlan.
According to a news report by The Star newspaper, most of the unemployed were those who were laid off from the manufacturing sector which was most badly affected by the economic downturn, especially the 2008 recession in the United States.
“During the world economic crisis, our employment rate was affected too because most of the factories had to close down or were operating at lower cost by laying off many of their workers,” she said.
She also commended companies which had managed to maintain their workers despite posting lesser profits.
However, Maznah said the number of those who lost their jobs was still under control compared to the 84,000 laid off during the Asian economic crisis in 1997.
She was optimistic that the number would come down soon following the country’s encouraging economic performance last year.
She said the ministry managed to get some 29,000 of the laid off workers to be rehired while the rest were offered retraining.
She also advised those who were still jobless to grab the opportunities provided by the Government by attending various skills training programmes to further improve their skills.