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Jakarta Post

Tens of thousands of workers across Indonesia laid off because of COVID-19 outbreak

  • Suherdjoko and Agustinus Hari

    The Jakarta Post

Semarang and Manado   /   Wed, April 8, 2020   /   04:24 pm
Tens of thousands of workers across Indonesia laid off because of COVID-19 outbreak Disinfectant is sprayed in a Transjakarta bus stop on Jl. Raya Bogor, Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, on April 8. (JP/P.J.Leo)

Tens of thousands of workers across Indonesia have lost their jobs as economic activity slows to a crawl as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In Central Java, 24,249 workers have been laid off while 191 companies employing 148,791 workers have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In West Java, 53,365 have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The West Java Manpower and Transmigration Agency recorded that 34,365 workers have been put on leave, 14,053 have been furloughed, while 5,047 have been laid off.

Read also: Thousands laid off, forced to take unpaid leave in Jakarta as companies hit hard by COVID-19

Meanwhile, the North Sulawesi Transmigration and Manpower Agency recorded that 1,275 workers in the province have been laid off, while 2,576 have been furloughed waiting for business to recover. Moreover, 262 companies across the region report that they have closed down because of the outbreak.

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said the government would seek solutions for workers who have been laid off, one of which is the pre-employment card.

“Workers who are being laid off or are financially affected [by the outbreak] should apply for the pre-employment cards,” he said on Tuesday. “Register yourself immediately at the nearest Manpower Agency.”

Read also: Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: Economists

The pre-employment card program was initially created by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to reduce the unemployment rate and teach new skills to Indonesia’s workforce to keep up with the ever-changing digital economy and combat job loss as a result of automation, but has been retargeted to help those who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have been allocated 421,705 slots for the pre-employment cards. So far, only 19,000 people have registered, less than 5 percent of the allocated slots,” Ganjar said.

Pre-employment card holders will undergo training for four months, and will receive Rp 3.5 million (US$215) which includes Rp 1 million for training equipment, Rp 2.4 million for daily allowances and Rp 150,000 for survey expenses. (dpk)