Presentation by:
Calvin Cheng

1 April 2021

Presented at an online ISIS Forum titled “Fighting the inequality pandemic: COVID-19 and its economic impacts on marginalised worker groups”  and presents updated and extended research from the November 2020 ISIS Malaysia Policy Brief Issue #07-20 “Pushed to the Margins”.

Combing through a wide range of labour force survey data, the presentation looks at the state of the Malaysian labour market over the past year and analyses the vastly unequal impacts that the COVID-19 crisis had on different worker groups. The presentation shows how traditionally marginalized worker groups like women, youth and lesser-educated and “lower-skilled” workers have disproportionately devastated by the pandemic compared to older, male, white-collar, tertiary-educated workers. The presentation next looks at the factors behind these disparities—considering both industry-mix effects and more structural determinants of inequality—and concludes with policy recommendations to safeguard the welfare of Malaysian workers and build Malaysia’s economic resilience to future crises.


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