Malaysia’s jobless rate rises for first time in four months to 4.8% in June

Malaysia’s jobless rate rises for first time in four months to 4.8% in June
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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9): The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said the unemployment rate climbed to 4.8% for the month of June, after four consecutive months of declines, with a total of 768,700 unemployed persons in the country, based on its Labour Force Survey.

For comparison, Malaysia reported an unemployment rate of 4.5% in May.

Chief statistician Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the labour force situation in June was challenging as the country continued in its endeavour to flatten the surge of Covid-19 cases.

“The rise of new daily cases has resulted in the implementation of Full Movement Control Order (MCO) during the month whereby only essential economy and services sectors were permitted to operate encompassing business activities related to food & beverages, utilities, security, health & medical care, transportation, banking, communications and essential construction activities.

“Small businesses such as food or beverage stalls or hawkers were also allowed to operate during this period,” he said in a statement.

The number of employed persons in June declined by 0.5% to 15.3 million persons, compared with 15.37 million in May, with the employment-to-population ratio falling by 0.4 percentage points (ppts) to 65%.

Year-on-year, however, the unemployment rate was marginally lower than the 4.9% reported in June 2020.

DOSM said inactivity in the labour force during the month also translated to a lower labour force of 16.07 million persons, versus 16.1 million persons in May — the first decrease of labour force recorded since April 2020, when the pandemic hit the country.

Accordingly, the labour force participation rate was lower at 68.3%, compared with 68.5% in the preceding month.

All sectors registered declines in employment, led by the services sector which posted its first decline in 12 months. 

Due to the implementation of the Full MCO, the number of employed persons who were temporarily not working increased significantly by 661,400 persons month-on-month, to a total of 801,100 persons. It said a similar situation was observed during the first implementation of MCO in 2020.

Looking at the overall second quarter, Dr Mohd Uzir said the labour force fell by 36,100 persons to 15.97 million persons amid declines in both employed and unemployed persons.

“During this quarter, the number of employed persons decreased by 0.2% to 15.21 million persons particularly in services, agriculture, and mining and quarrying sectors. The unemployment rate of the second quarter stood at 4.8% registering 764,900 unemployed persons,” he said, adding that the labour force participation rate stood at 68.3%.

By state, the highest unemployment rate in the quarter was in Labuan (8.8%), Sabah (8.7%), Perlis (5.3%), Kelantan (4.8%), and Selangor (4.4%).

Lam Jian Wyn