For the month of June 2020, Malaysia’s unemployment rate lessened to 4.9%, down 0.4% from the nation’s record-high 5.3% rate in May. From May to June, the number of unemployed persons in the country decreased by 52,900 individuals to 773,200.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the number of employed persons in most sectors increased as most economic activities reopened during the recovery movement control order (RMCO). “This increase is apparent in the Services sector, as it observed its first month-on-month positive growth since January 2020,” the DOSM report stated.
The number of employed persons also rose within the e-commerce activity, delivery services, and information and communication technology related activities, among others. Overall, the number of employed persons in Malaysia grew marginally by 0.7% month-on-month to 14.99 million persons in June.
Unemployment figures for those who were temporarily not working due to the movement control order improved as well, going down to 768,000 persons by 3.1% as compared to the previous month. Likewise, the actively unemployed for less than three months reduced by 3.1% while the inactively unemployed shrunk by 29%.
However, the official unemployment rate for the second quarter of 2020 increased to 5.1% compared to 3.5% in the first quarter, caused mainly by the sharp rise in unemployment for May. “During this quarter (2Q2020), labour utilisation had yet to resume at optimum level as businesses had only begun to regain their momentum,” said Chief Statistician Dr Mohd Uzir Mahiddin. “Thus, the (number of) employed persons decreased 2.4% to 14.88 million persons, largely in semi-skilled and low-skilled occupation.”
Looking ahead, DOSM predicts that the labour force situation in July 2020 is expected to grow and improve, due to the initial stage of recovery having kicked off coupled with the effect of the short-term stimulus recovery packages by the government.