Unemployment issue on the rise in late April


Analysis above shows the comparison between the different coronavirus impact in Malaysia. The impacts are from the perspectives of gig economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), food, tax, employment and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).


As observed, ‘Covid 19 – employment’ and ‘Covid 19 – Food’ dominates the media in April 2020. Employment and Food are seen to compete with each other in terms of coverage in the media. However, since April 28, news on employment in relations to the Covid-19 pandemic have shot up, leaving others.



Some industries in Malaysia have felt the worst possible impact of the Covid-19 crisis during this time, with businesses forced to close. On the last day of April, the biggest magazine publishing company in Malaysia – Blu Inc – ceases operations, laying off 200 staffs.



The closure of some of these businesses put unemployment in the center of the media in May 2020.


As observed, there is a huge gap between news on unemployment as compared to the other impacts of the heath crisis.


The voice of ‘Covid- 19 SME’ was seen to increase along with the unemployment topic. Whereas, the voice of food issue related to the pandemic had shrunk.



Additionally, in the last 7 days, it can be observed that news on SMEs are increasing in coverage in the media, in line with the news on unemployment.


In fact, ‘Covid 19 – SME’ and ‘Covid 19 – Unemployment’ are the only two topics that experienced increase in the share of voice.


Small-medium enterprises make up 98.5% of the businesses in Malaysia. In April 2020, it was reported that SMEs currently provide jobs to 70% of Malaysia’s employees. While this is the employment situation in Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) recently predicted that unemployment rate in the country would shoot up to 4% this year as compared to 3.4% in 2019 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.


So, what will the unemployment rate be in 2020? Now that the economy has reopened under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), will it still shoot up to 4% as predicted by BNM?