Malaysia’s Unemployment Rate In March 2022 Remains At 4.1%
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(Image: Malay Mail/Choo Choy May)

The latest labour report from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has indicated that Malaysia’s unemployment rate in March 2022 remained the same as the previous month at 4.1%. Despite the unchanged unemployment rate, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 0.4%, from 671,800 persons in February to 669,200 persons in March. 

Chief statistician of DOSM, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin noted that 83.8% of the total unemployed persons recorded in March consisted of actively unemployed persons – defined as those who are unemployed and are actively looking for jobs. The number of actively unemployed persons registered a decrease of 0.3%, from 562,500 persons in February to 561,000 persons in March. Additionally, 57.1% of the total actively unemployed persons were unemployed for less than three months, while 7.1% were unemployed for more than a year. 

As for the number of inactively unemployed persons – described as those who believe that there are no jobs available – the report highlighted that there has been a decrease of 1.1%, from 109,300 persons in February to 108,100 persons in March. It further noted that the number of inactively unemployed persons had continued to decline for eight consecutive months. 

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons in March recorded an increase of 0.2% to 15.77 million persons from 15.73 million persons in the previous month. On the employment categories, the employees category encompassed 76.5% of the total number of employed persons in March, posting an increase of 0.1% from February. This translates to a total of 12.06 million persons in the employees category in March, as compared to 12.05 million persons in February. The own-account workers category also increased by 0.6%, from 2.67 million persons in February to 2.69 million persons in March. 

In addition to that, the number of employed persons who were temporarily not working increased by 5.6% to 93,900 persons in March from 89,000 persons in the previous month. The report noted that this was in part due to the school holiday period during the month.

Aside from the monthly labour force data, DOSM also released data on the labour force for the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22). Overall, the labour force in 1Q22 expanded by 0.7% since the fourth quarter of 2021 (4Q21), bringing the total number from 16.14 million persons to 16.25 million persons. 

Of note is also the fact that the number of employed persons in 1Q22 had edged up to 15.57 million persons from 15.44 million persons in 4Q21 (0.9% increase). On the other hand, the number of unemployed persons remained on a declining trend, dropping by 3.3% from 694,400 persons in 4Q21 to 671,200 persons in 1Q22. Therefore, the unemployment rate for 1Q22 decreased to 4.1% as compared to 4.3% in 4Q21.

In view of the overall labour force situation, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir commented that the country’s transition to the endemic phase, the relaxation of Covid-19 containment measures, and the reopening of the national borders are expected to further boost the economy of the country. While the international crises, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, have affected the global supply chain, the direct impact on Malaysia’s trade may be minimal. “Therefore, in overall, the national economy as well as the labour market will expand further in the upcoming months as more positive signs of the economy were indicated,” he remarked.

(Source: DOSM [1, 2, 3])

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