The Job insecurity and level of anxiety and depression symptoms among employees of private manufacturing sectors in Malaysia during Covid-19 pandemic


  • Jaslyn Koh Hui Yee Koh
  • Zaheer Firdaus


Covid-19 affects most Malaysian employees' mental health by halting industries operations and causing layoffs. This cross-sectional study identified job insecurity, anxiety, and depression symptoms among employees in the private manufacturing industries during the Covid-19 pandemic. An online survey, comprised of the Job Insecurity Scale (JIS), General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), was completed by 75 participants from five different manufacturing industries. The participants had significant job insecurity (M=51.53), anxiety symptoms (54.6%), and depressive symptoms (49.3%) during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study reported a substantial median difference in depression symptoms among employees with secondary and tertiary education levels (r=0.24, p<0.05). The Mann-Whitney U test also revealed that employees with high job insecurity had higher anxiety symptoms (r=0.47, p<0.001) and depression symptoms (r=0.63, p<0.001) as compared to the employees with low job insecurity. The difference between high and low job insecurity employees showed a medium effect size (Cohen, 1988). In conclusion, during the Covid-19 pandemic, private employees faced significant job insecurity, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. This study suggests the need for preventive care or self-monitoring in mental health issues among employees with job insecurity.


Arango, C., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., McGorry, P. D., Rapoport, J., Sommer, I. E., Vorstman, J. A., McDaid, D., Marín, O., Serrano-Drozdowskyj, E., & Freedman, R. (2018). Preventive strategies for mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(7), 591-604.

Bitmiş, M. G., & Ergeneli, A. (2015). How psychological capital influences burnout: the mediating role of job insecurity. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 207, 363-368.

Blom, V., Richter, A., Hallsten, L., & Svedberg, P. (2018). The associations between job insecurity, depressive symptoms and burnout: The role of performance-based self-esteem. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 39(1), 48-63.

Bracci, A., & Riva, E. (2020). Perceived job insecurity and anxiety. a multilevel analysis on male and female workers in European countries. Front Sociol 2020; 5: 573549. In: PUBMED.

Caycho-Rodríguez, T., Tomás, J. M., Vilca, L. W., Carbajal-León, C., Cervigni, M., Gallegos, M., Martino, P., Barés, I., Calandra, M., & Anacona, C. A. R. (2021). Socio-demographic variables, fear of COVID-19, anxiety, and depression: Prevalence, relationships and explanatory model in the general population of seven Latin American countries. Frontiers in Psychology, 4980.

Choi, S. L., Heo, W., Cho, S. H., & Lee, P. (2020). The links between job insecurity, financial well‐being and financial stress: A moderated mediation model. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 44(4), 353-360.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences–second edition. 12 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Hillsdale, New Jersey, 13.

Cuyper, N. D., Bernhard‐Oettel, C., Berntson, E., Witte, H. D., & Alarco, B. (2008). Employability and employees’ well‐being: Mediation by job insecurity 1. Applied Psychology, 57(3), 488-509.

Daud, N. (2017). Job security and well-being among private workers in Malaysia. Journal of Technology Management and Business, 4(1).

Dijkstra-Kersten, S. M., Biesheuvel-Leliefeld, K. E., van der Wouden, J. C., Penninx, B. W., & van Marwijk, H. W. (2015). Associations of financial strain and income with depressive and anxiety disorders. J Epidemiol Community Health, 69(7), 660-665.

Ellonen, N., & Nätti, J. (2015). Job insecurity and the unemployment rate: Micro-and macro-level predictors of perceived job insecurity among Finnish employees 1984–2008. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 36(1), 51-71.

Emanuel, F., Molino, M., Presti, A. L., Spagnoli, P., & Ghislieri, C. (2018). A crossover study from a gender perspective: The relationship between job insecurity, job satisfaction, and partners’ family life satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1481.

Felman, A. (2020). What to know about anxiety. Medical News Today. In.

Ganson, K. T., Tsai, A. C., Weiser, S. D., Benabou, S. E., & Nagata, J. M. (2021). Job insecurity and symptoms of anxiety and depression among US young adults during COVID-19. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68(1), 53-56.

Goldman, L. (2019). What is depression and what can I do about it? Medical News To-day. In.

Hämmig, O., & Bauer, G. (2009). Work-life imbalance and mental health among male and female employees in Switzerland. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 54(2), 88-95.

Haslam, C., Atkinson, S., Brown, S., & Haslam, R. (2005). Anxiety and depression in the workplace: effects on the individual and organisation (a focus group investigation). Journal of Affective Disorders, 88(2), 209-215.

Higuera, V. (2014). Everything you want to know about depression. In H. Media (Ed.).

Keim, A. C., Landis, R. S., Pierce, C. A., & Earnest, D. R. (2014). Why do employees worry about their jobs? A meta-analytic review of predictors of job insecurity. Journal of occupational health psychology, 19(3), 269.

Khudaykulov, A., Changjun, Z., Obrenovic, B., Godinic, D., Alsharif, H. Z. H., & Jakhongirov, I. (2022). The fear of COVID-19 and job insecurity impact on depression and anxiety: An empirical study in China in the COVID-19 pandemic aftermath. Current Psychology, 1-14.

Kim, T. J., & von Dem Knesebeck, O. (2015). Is an insecure job better for health than having no job at all? A systematic review of studies investigating the health-related risks of both job insecurity and unemployment. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 1-9.

Kroenke, K., & Spitzer, R. L. (2002). The PHQ-9: a new depression diagnostic and severity measure. In (Vol. 32, pp. 509-515): SLACK Incorporated Thorofare, NJ.

Le, H. T., Lai, A. J. X., Sun, J., Hoang, M. T., Vu, L. G., Pham, H. Q., Nguyen, T. H., Tran, B. X., Latkin, C. A., & Le, X. T. T. (2020). Anxiety and depression among people under the nationwide partial lockdown in Vietnam. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 589359.

Meltzer, H., Bebbington, P., Brugha, T., Jenkins, R., McManus, S., & Stansfeld, S. (2010). Job insecurity, socio-economic circumstances and depression. Psychological Medicine, 40(8), 1401-1407.

Moh, J. (2021). Many job losses during Covid-19 pandemic likely permanent. In: The Sun Daily.

Mohr, G. B. (2000). The changing significance of different stressors after the announcement of bankruptcy: A longitudinal investigation with special emphasis on job insecurity. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(3), 337-359.

Nagasu, M., & Yamamoto, I. (2020). Impact of socioeconomic-and lifestyle-related risk factors on poor mental health conditions: A nationwide longitudinal 5-wave panel study in Japan. PLOS ONE, 15(10), e0240240.

Obrenovic, B., Du, J., Godinic, D., Baslom, M. M. M., & Tsoy, D. (2021). The threat of COVID-19 and job insecurity impact on depression and anxiety: An empirical study in the USA. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 648572.

Perveen, A., Hamzah, H. B., Othamn, A., & Ramlee, F. (2020). Prevalence of Anxiety, Stress, Depression among Malaysian Adults during COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order. Indian Journal of Community Health, 32(3).

PricewaterhouseCoopers. (2021). Malaysians are hopeful that their digital skills have improved since the pandemic began, but continue to be held back by fears of job security and automation. In: PwC.

Schütte, S., Chastang, J.-F., Malard, L., Parent-Thirion, A., Vermeylen, G., & Niedhammer, I. (2014). Psychosocial working conditions and psychological well-being among employees in 34 European countries. International archives of occupational and environmental health, 87(8), 897-907.

Shanmugam, H., Juhari, J. A., Nair, P., Ken, C. S., & Guan, N. C. (2020). Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in Malaysia: A single thread of hope. Malaysian Journal of Psychiatry, 29(1), 78-84.

Silla, I., De Cuyper, N., Gracia, F. J., Peiró, J. M., & De Witte, H. (2009). Job insecurity and well-being: Moderation by employability. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(6), 739-751.

Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B., & Löwe, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166(10), 1092-1097.

Sverke, M., Hellgren, J., & Näswall, K. (2002). No security: a meta-analysis and review of job insecurity and its consequences. Journal of occupational health psychology, 7(3), 242.

Tentama, F., & Rosandy, D. A. (2019). The role of self efficacy and relicience on the job insecurity of contract employees. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research, 8(10), 1887-1893.

Vander Elst, T., De Witte, H., & De Cuyper, N. (2014). The Job Insecurity Scale: A psychometric evaluation across five European countries. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(3), 364-380.

Wilson, J. M., Lee, J., Fitzgerald, H. N., Oosterhoff, B., Sevi, B., & Shook, N. J. (2020). Job insecurity and financial concern during the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with worse mental health. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 62(9), 686-691.

Zhang, X.-R., Huang, Q.-M., Wang, X.-M., Cheng, X., Li, Z.-H., Wang, Z.-H., Zhong, W.-F., Liu, D., Shen, D., & Chen, P.-L. (2020). Prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms, and association with epidemic-related factors during the epidemic period of COVID-19 among 123,768 workers in China: A large cross-sectional study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 277, 495-502.




How to Cite

SITI FAIRUZ ISMAIL, Koh, J. K. H. Y., & Zaheer Firdaus. (2023). The Job insecurity and level of anxiety and depression symptoms among employees of private manufacturing sectors in Malaysia during Covid-19 pandemic. Perdana International Journal of Health Sciences, 1(1), 10–18. Retrieved from