The Vulnerability of Jobs to COVID-19: The Case of Malaysia
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
About the Webinar
Malaysia’s economy has been adversely affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent mobility restrictions implemented to flatten the curve of the pandemic. This study uses detailed data on employment patterns and on the possibility to work from home and without physical proximity to estimate the extent and distribution of jobs most vulnerable to COVID-19. It finds that about 64.5 percent of jobs in Malaysia cannot be performed from home, after adjusting for internet access while about 50.9 percent of jobs require high levels of physical proximity. These jobs are those that are most vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly if strict mobility restrictions are reinstated. Workers most at risk are primarily those that were already vulnerable before the crisis due to their relatively low education, low level of income and advanced or very young age. Jobs in less developed regions of Malaysia are also particularly vulnerable. Against this backdrop, the authors argue that proactive social protection and jobs policies including continued income support and upskilling/reskilling initiatives with a focus on non-routine cognitive analytical and interpersonal skills are needed to mitigate the employment impacts of COVID-19 in Malaysia.
About the Speakers
Alyssa Farha Jasmin is a Research Analyst at the World Bank Malaysian Hub under the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. Prior to the World Bank, Alyssa was a Research Associate at the Khazanah Research Institute where she worked on issues such as gender inequality and poverty in Malaysia. She holds a MSc in Economics from University College London and a BSc in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Nottingham.
Amanina Abdur Rahman is an Economist in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. She engages in policy dialogue with the Malaysian government in the areas of jobs, labor markets, migration, and social protection. She also has experience working on agriculture policy at the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank, she completed a PhD in economics at Monash University Malaysia, where she also taught economics and statistics. Amanina was also a visiting researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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