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Jobstreet: Malaysia is a top 20 desired country for foreigners to relocate for work

According to Jobstreet, a collaborative study by the Boston Consulting Group revealed that Malaysia is now a top 20 country for global employment attractiveness in 2020. The country ranked 42 in 2014, and 33 in 2018—making 19th place in 2020 an impressive feat.

The dramatic hike to top 20 is also due to how Malaysia has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobstreet theorised that the country had “much better management” of the pandemic “as compared to certain Western countries”.

“The pandemic has proven to be a key factor that has drastically changed the way global talent think about employment preferences,” said SEEK Asia’s chief marketing officer Ramesh Rajandran.

The countries where people would like to come to Malaysia for work in 2020 include Indonesia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Thailand, China, Syria, Nigeria and Qatar—with Indonesia being the number 1 country. Indonesia is notorious for poor COVID-19 responses, and it currently has an average of about 5,000 recorded cases per day.

The study surveyed 208,805 respondents in more than 190 countries. A total of 5,649 Malaysians were surveyed—48% were below 30 years of age, and 41% were “highly educated” with Masters, PhD, Doctorate or equivalent degrees.

In the same study, only 40% of Malaysians expressed willingness to work abroad in 2020—as compared to 65% in 2018 and 67% in 2014. However, the sharp decline is also attributed to COVID-19 related restrictions and uncertainty.

As for countries where people in Malaysia would most like to relocate for work, Singapore is their top destination. This is followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan, respectively.

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In June 2020, Jobstreet stated that 33% of Malaysians reported a reduced salary of more than 30% due to COVID-19. The platform has also launched #WorkNow to help candidates and employers through various pandemic-induced challenges. 

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