The unemployment rate in Malaysia has lowered slightly by 0.1% to settle at 4.6% for the month of September 2020. The number of unemployed persons declined by 0.6% to stand at 737,500 persons, according to the latest data by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
“In September 2020, employment continued to grow at a slower pace of 0.3% (August 2020: 0.5%) to 15.19 million persons,” the DOSM stated in its monthly labour force report. It was found that the employee’s category increased by 14,900 persons to record 11.73 million persons against the month before. Meanwhile, own-account workers continued to increase by 0.7%, registering 2.43 million workers compared to the 2.42 million in August.
A new labour force indicator was also added to the report: quarterly time-related and skill-related unemployment. In Q1 2020, the implementation of the MCO caused the number of time-related underemployed persons to increase to 383,200 persons or 2.5% of the employed workforce, compared to the 212,400 persons before. In the second quarter, time-related underemployment increased to 2.8% before reducing to 2.0% in Q3 2020.
According to DOSM, the Services and Manufacturing sectors were the main contributors of the economy, recording an increase in the number of employment compared to the month before. For the Services sector, the increase was largely seen in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, and food and beverage areas, as well as education activities.
“Although the Covid-19 pandemic continued to be a difficult challenge in September 2020, the Malaysia’s labour force situation was further improved as the progress of the economic sector continued to grow,” the DOSM report continued. “However, looking at the current situation with a spike of new Covid-19 cases especially in certain parts of the country since the end of September 2020, it is foreseen that the labour market will face more challenges in the forthcoming months.”
Earlier in August, the unemployment rate for the nation stood slightly higher at 4.7%, unchanged from the month of July after a downward trend starting in the month of June. This came after months of record-breaking unemployment numbers in March, April, and May.