• Malaysian Bureau of Labour Statistics
Inventory of completed work

Research and Development

Mohd Ikhwan Abdullah; Nur Layali Mohd Ali Khan

Box Article 2: Special Study On The Personnel Of Short-Term Employment Programme


  • Labour market imbalances was among the structural issues that had become even more critical in 2020 as Malaysia faced the economic ramification to manage the fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic in the country. In 2020, priorities to protect lives had prompted implementation of multiple social and economic restrictions which had resulted in slower labour demand by the economic sector and sharp increase in unemployment to record 711 thousand persons during the year (Malaysian Bureau of Labour Statistics [MBLS], DOSM, 2021). In addition, according to DOSM (2021), skill-related underemployment rate which had been on an upward trend grew 3.6 percentage points to 38.0 per cent, denoting the increase in those with tertiary education but were working in semi and low-skilled occupations categories.
  • Subsidies and fiscal injections were rolled out continuously as and when necessary corresponding to the implementations of various phases of MCO. Specifics initiatives were formulated specially to address labour market issues including escalating number of unemployment resulting from the public health crisis. The instances of these initiatives are PSU to ensure businesses can sustain and employees are retained. Hiring Incentives Programme and Training Assistance also provided opportunities for employment particularly in the Manufacturing industry as well as Wholesale and retail trade industry.
  • In looking at a longer-term and more comprehensive solution, the formation of National Employment Council was announced in November 2020 to execute the strategies of creating and retaining jobs, in line with the first goal of Budget 2021 namely “People’s Wellbeing” (Ministry of Finance Malaysia [MOF], 2020). Beyond the vital role of private sectors in creating and protecting jobs, one of the measures introduced was Short-term Employment Programme or MySTEP which targeted opening of 50 thousand contract job opportunities on a contract in the public sector and Government Linked Companies (GLC) starting January 2021, with the allocation of RM700 million (MOF, 2020).
  • A study was conducted by MBLS, DOSM in June 2021 with the objectives to evaluate the situation of MySTEP personnel working with the federal government agencies; determine basic demographic characteristics; involvement in secondary jobs; challenges to secure employment; and participation in skill and training programmes. These findings are complementary of the other official labour market statistics produced by DOSM to provide more in-depth insights on the situations of labour supply.
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