KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 14): AmBank Group Research said Malaysia’s unemployment rate in 2020 could reach 3.4%– 3.6% from 3.3% in 2019.
In an economic today, AmBank group chief economist and head of research Dr Anthony Dass said November’s unemployment rate remained at 3.2% for the second straight month and is at its 48-month low.
Dass, who is also adjunct professor in economics at University of New England, Sydney, Australia, said based on the labour market data, private consumption will be the anchor for the economic growth in 2019 and 2020.
However, he said consumer sentiment is sliding based on the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) survey which showed a reading of 84 in 3Q2019, the lowest since 4Q2017.
Dass said job vacancies are dwindling, easing to an average of 83.7K for the first 10-months in 2019 compared to 92.2K in the period review.
“Besides, retrenchment is picking up. The number of people laid off in 2019 is estimated at 37,260 compared to 23,697 in 2018.
“Expectations of more downsizing and more people seeking opportunities in the informal sector could pick up,” he said.
Dass reiterated his Malaysia gross domestic product growth for 2019 and 2020 at 4.5% and 4.6% respectively, supported by private consumption, gross fixed capital formation and exports.
“The unemployment rate in 2020 could reach 3.4%– 3.6% from 3.3% in 2019,” he said.