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December 23, 2008

Malaysia: Job losses seen rising in next 3 months
At least around 4,750 workers in Malaysia will be retrenched by 137 employers in the next three months, reflecting the impact of falling exports on the economy, Reuters reported, quoting a local daily.

Most of the layoffs would be from the electronics sector, Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper. The figures include the 1,500 staff recently laid off by computer disk drive maker Western Digital (WDC.N), he said.

There are an estimated 11.6 million workers employed in the Southeast Asian country this year. The unemployment rate is 3.2 percent.

The government would retrain retrenched workers or help them get new jobs, the minister said.

Malaysia's trade reliant economy is losing a key prop as weakening global tech sales and falling commodity prices hit exports.

The country's exports unexpectedly fell 2.6 percent in October from a year ago, way below economists' expectations for a 6.3 percent rise.

Malaysia has forecast economic growth of 3.5 percent in 2009, the lowest in eight years. But some private economists think growth is likely to be less than that as the worsening global economy takes a toll.

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