Malaysia’s Unemployment Rate In April 2021 Drops To 4.6%
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The unemployment rate of Malaysia in April 2021 has continued to improve from 4.7% in March 2021 to 4.6%, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) in its latest labour force report. It is the lowest rate to have been recorded since October 2020.

With this, the number of unemployed individuals have dropped by 0.1% – equivalent to 10,500 persons – to settle at 742,700 persons. In March, the number of unemployed persons stood at 753,200.

On top of that, those who are actively unemployed – defined as unemployed individuals who are actively seeking for work – has decreased by 1.3% (8,200 persons). This brings the number from 626,900 persons in March down to 618,700 persons in April. DOSM’s report also noted that 52.1% out of the total actively unemployed were unemployed for less than three months.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin attributed this improvement to the relaxation of restrictions via the implementation of recovery and conditional movement control order (RMCO and CMCO) nationwide. “Malaysia’s labour force continued to be on a recovery path in April 2021 as RMCO in most states and CMCO gave more opportunities for businesses to continue their activities in full capacity while adhering to strict standard operating procedures,” he said.

Accordingly, the number of labour force in April 2021 recorded a month-on-month increase of 0.1% (12,200 individuals), bringing it from 16.08 million persons in March 2021 to 16.09 million persons. The number of employed individuals also maintained its upward trend with an increase of 22,700 persons to settle at 15.35 million persons in April. The services, manufacturing, and construction sectors contributed to this increase, whereas the agriculture as well as mining and quarrying industries continued to decrease in number of employed individuals.

Breaking down the different categories of employment, the employee category – which makes up 77.9% of the employed persons group – saw a slight increase from 11.95 million persons in March to 11.97 million persons in April. Meanwhile, own-account workers (self-employed) recorded an addition of 12,300 persons, coming up to a total of 2.49 million persons in April. This group accounted for another 16.2% of the employed persons group. Lastly, the remaining 5.8% of overall employment is comprised of unpaid family workers (2.6%) and employers (3.2%).

The number of employed persons who were temporarily not working, on the other hand, had reduced by 5,000 to settle at 116,000 persons.

Despite this improvement, Mohd Uzir cautioned that the labour force condition in following months may be less positive as May 2021 saw the country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic taking a downturn. “Labour market condition is foreseen to face another challenging situation in the upcoming months but the provision of various assistances by the government may cushion the impact and subsequently restore the labour market condition,” he said.

(Sources: DOSM [1, 2])

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