Malaysia’s Unemployment Rate In August 2021 Eases To 4.6%
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Malaysia’s unemployment rate for August 2021 has declined by 0.2%, from 4.8% in July 2021 to 4.6%, according to the latest labour force report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). This is equivalent to 748,800 unemployed persons, in comparison with 778,200 persons in July 2021.

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons rose by 0.5% month-on-month, with 15.38 million employed individuals in August as compared to 15.29 million individuals in the previous month. Accordingly, the labour force participation rate during August also improved from 68.3% in July to 68.4% in August.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that this encouraging situation in August can be attributed the fact that more economic activities were permitted to resume in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19. In August 2021, several states were allowed to advance from their existing phases into the next phase under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), which offered more economic and movement freedom. These included Perlis, Sarawak, and Negeri Sembilan.

DOSM’s latest report further noted that actively unemployed individuals – defined as those who are unemployed and are actively looking for work – make up 83.8% of the total number of unemployed persons at 627,500 individuals. This is 3.7% lesser than the previous month, which stood at 651,300 individuals. Additionally, 53.8% of the total actively unemployed individuals were unemployed for less than three months, whereas 9% were in long-term unemployment for more than a year.

As for the inactively unemployed individuals who believe that there are no jobs available, the number decreased from 126,900 persons in July to 121,300 persons in August.

Under the employed group, meanwhile, the employee category – which makes up 77.4% of the group – saw an increase of 27,900 persons (0.2%) after posting a decline in the past two months. Similarly, the number of self-employed individuals also rose with a month-on-month increase of 33,900 persons (1.4%), bringing its total percentage within the employed group to 16.5% in August. Finally, unpaid family workers (2.9%) and employers (3.2%) make up the remaining number of the employed group.

With regard to the employment rate of upcoming months, Datuk Seri Uzir said that the outlook is likely positive as the implementation of NRP has allowed for a safe reopening of the economy. This is despite some challenges still remaining due to the uncertain public health situation.

“The encouraging economic performance may increase labour demand, including the creation of more job opportunities in the economy. Therefore, the reviving of the economy and the labour market is foreseen in stages in the forthcoming months,” Datuk Seri Uzir commented.

(Source: DOSM [1, 2])

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