The unemployment rate in Malaysia for the month of August remained at 4.7%, unchanged from the month of July. This signalled a plateau in the nation’s downward trend of unemployment, which was shown during the previous months of June and July following spikes from March to May.
On the upside, employment recorded a marginal increase of 0.5% month-on-month to 15.15 million persons in August. The number of unemployed persons also decreased by 3,500 persons to 741,600 from July. And for the first time since April 2020, the number of own-account workers recorded an increase, currently standing at 2.42 million persons accounted for.
Overall, the labour force increased by 76,600 persons from the month before to form 15.9 million persons in August 2020.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the employment in the services sector increased further, largely in wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, food and beverages, and information and communication activities. Arts, entertainment, and recreational activities also went up compared to the month before.
“As the economic sector continues reopening, August 2020 saw the Malaysia’s labour situation improved further,” DOSM said in its report. “Nevertheless, looking at the current situation where the COVID-19 cases is on the increasing trend, it is foreseen that some challenges will hinder the labour market recovery in the upcoming months and could impact the potential of labour force to enter the labour market.”