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Up to 13M Jobless Estimated in Revised Outlook on Indonesian Labor Force

November 22, 2020, 10.47 PM

JAKARTA, – Up to 13 million Indonesians could be jobless due to the pandemic, based on the government's revised its forecast on unemployment in the country.

Indonesia’s Minister of Manpower Ida Fauziyah said that the odds are not in favor of the Indonesian labor force as the Covid-19 crisis in the country has yet to see the light.

Prior to the pandemic, Indonesia’s workforce was bracing for impact arising from greater automation in industries.

Nearly nine months after the novel virus was first reported, the outlook of the Indonesian labor force appears grimmer.

Read also: Ranks of Jobless Expected to Swell to 11 Million in Indonesia

Ida expects 12 million to 13 million people to find themselves out of work in Indonesia as the pandemic continues.

“Indeed we do have a challenge which is automation. It will cause jobs to be lost and new employment opportunities to arise thus we have to continue transforming ourselves to meet the future demands of the labor market. The government has been working on upskilling and reskilling programs.

“Total unemployment in Indonesia could reach between 12-13 million individuals.”

Ida explained that the passage of the Job Creation Law served to overcome the country’s challenges by encouraging more investments from domestic and foreign investors coupled with enhancing the quality of the Indonesian labor force.

Read also: President Joko Widodo Signs Indonesia’s Controversial Job Creation Law

“If the human capital is not prepared, then it won’t solve the problem. Other than a conducive business climate, we must improve our workers. The government is working in parallel to do both, one of them is through the provision of mass vocational training.”

According to Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency, there are a total of 138 million workers in Indonesia as of August 2020 — 128 million working individuals and 9.7 million unemployed workers.

Unemployment in Indonesia surged to 7.07 percent compared to the year-on-year figure for August 2020.

Read also: Government Wants to Raise Educational Attainment of Indonesian Labor Force

Ida emphasized how the government has been buckling down on tackling unemployment in Indonesia for the past five years include new obstacles from the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is clear that the pandemic has created a massive challenge for the Indonesian labor force on top of existing challenges such as a high percentage of workers in the informal sector."

"There is also the challenge of having 57 percent of the entire population having a low education of middle-school and below as well as limited skills.”

(Writer: Mutia Fauzia | Editor: Bambang P. Jatmiko)


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