The Gig Economy Comes to the Rescue of the Retrenched, but at a Cost

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THE YEAR 2020 saw seismic shifts in the job market structure. Soon after the MCO was announced last March, unemployment rates in Malaysia jumped significantly from 3.3% in 2019 to 5.1% in Q2 of 2020 (Figure 1). Penang did not escape unscathed either. Almost 5,500 workers lost their jobs between January and June; as of Q2 of 2020, the state’s unemployment rate is at 4.4% which more than doubles the 2.0% of 2019. Young workers between 15-30 years old, who were already facing tough labour conditions pre-pandemic, saw windows for job opportunities shuttering even further – the unemployment rate for their age ...


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