Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Unemployment numbers looking grimmer and grimmer for Malaysians

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

On Monday the 19th, one of Malaysia’s more influential blogs posted an article titled “1 million Malaysians could lose jobs this year”.  

This forecast had been made on the basis of estimates by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) and news reports on expected job losses for Malaysians working in Singapore.  

Current official Malaysian unemployment statistics are at 3.1% or an estimate of 343,700 people. Increasing this by even another 300,000 people is going to cause a terrible strain on the Malaysian people.  

The highest unemployment rate that I could find for Malaysia was for the year 1986 when it was 8.3%.  Though I had already been working for a few years when this 1986 recession hit us, I was quite blissfully ignorant. There were no retrenchments done at my workplace and I did not know anyone who had been affected. I wonder how my mindset would have been affected had I been retrenched or suffered some set back this early in my working life.  

My two elder girls have just started working. The eldest is doing some part time work teaching an autistic child, and my second girl is in a fairly recession proof industry. At this stage in their lives the parental umbrella is still available to them. In addition, their expenses are still low and they have yet to be burdened with car loans, housing loans and such. 

I have my doubts if my girls will truly understand the difficulties faced by many others in the work force. They might if some of their peers have been affected by the storms in the job market.  I hope that my girls will hear, learn and try to understand the flimsiness of the job markets and the resultant devastating impact this can have on incomes and lifestyles.

This would be one of the best lessons one can have for maintaining a frugal lifestyle and always earning more than spending.

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