Presentation by:
Calvin Cheng

27 May 2021

Presented at an online forum hosted by University Putra Malaysia’s Bahagian Hal Ehwal Pelajar, titled “A Conversation on Wages and Employability”, the presentation features updated and extended research from his 1 April Presentation titled “Pushed to the Margins: the unequal impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Malaysian workers”.  

The presentation shows how youth, specifically young women, have been disproportionately devastated by the pandemic compared with older, male, white-collar, tertiary-educated workers, with many being pushed out of the workforce entirely.  

The presentation also showed that younger workers who managed to keep their jobs face reduced work hours, and are increasingly working in jobs that they are “overqualified” for.  

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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