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The Vulnerability of Jobs to COVID-19: The Case of Malaysia

September 30, 2021

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • Malaysia’s economy has been adversely affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent mobility restrictions implemented to flatten the curve of the pandemic. This study estimates the extent and distribution of jobs most vulnerable to COVID-19. It finds that about 64.5 percent of jobs in Malaysia cannot be performed from home, after adjusting for internet access while about 50.9 percent of jobs require high levels of physical proximity. These jobs are those that are most vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly if strict mobility restrictions are reinstated. Workers most at risk are primarily those that were already vulnerable before the crisis due to their relatively low education, low level of income and advanced or very young age. Jobs in less developed regions of Malaysia are also particularly vulnerable. Against this backdrop, the study argues that proactive social protection and jobs policies are needed to mitigate the employment impacts of COVID-19 in Malaysia.

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    Presentation Slides

  • Amanina Abdur Rahman is an Economist in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. She works in the areas of social protection, skills and jobs, labor markets, and migration, focusing on Malaysia. Prior to joining the World Bank, she completed a PhD in Applied Economics at Monash University Malaysia. Amanina was also a visiting researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    Alyssa Farha Jasmin is a Research Analyst in the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. Prior to the World Bank, she was a Research Associate at the Khazanah Research Institute where she worked on issues such as gender inequality and poverty in Malaysia. She holds a MSc in Economics from University College London and a BSc in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Nottingham.


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, September 30, 2021: 9:00 -10:00am
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, September 29, 2021: 9:00 – 10:00pm