More than 50,000 Malaysians are expected to lose their jobs this year, according to the Malaysian Employers Federation.
Its executive director, Shamsudin Baradan, said the main sector to be affected would be manufacturing.
This is followed by the services sectors – insurance, banking and retail – and the construction sector, due to the economic situation.
He said the culmination of several factors that will come into play will hit the job market hard and make it more challenging.
Some of the factors that will hurt the job market are the levy imposed on employers for hiring foreign workers, and the Employee Insurance Scheme (EIS).
“The increase in the days for maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days, as well as the possibility of paternity leave will also be factors,” Shamsudin said.
A total 37,699 Malaysian employees were laid off in 2016 while 38,499 lost their jobs in 2015.
The number of job losses for the whole of 2017 is not available yet, but as of September last year, 30,700 Malaysians were retrenched.