Almost half of unemployed in Malaysia found jobs in less than 3 months

Almost half of unemployed in Malaysia found jobs in less than 3 months

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Last year, unemployment rate was found to have improved to 3.3% as compared to 3.4% in 2017, according to the 2018 Labour Force Survey Report, Malaysia.

The report released by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM) on Tuesday (30 April 2019) also revealed almost half (48.4%) of the active unemployed in Malaysia secured employment in less than three months.

Meanwhile, 29.3% of the active unemployed took between three to six months to find jobs and only 9.7% were active unemployed persons in the period of more than one year.

Overall, labour force in Malaysia increased 2.0% to nearly 15.3 million people in 2018 as compared to 15.0 million people in 2017. This increase in labour force was contributed by 299,200 employed persons.

In that line, labour force participation rate rate (LFPR) in 2018 increased 0.3 percentage points to 68.3% as compared to 68.0% in 2017.

Among the employed people, those with tertiary education in 2018 increased 0.5 percentage points to 28.6% as against 28.1% in the previous year.

Meanwhile, employed people with primary education and secondary education declined 0.4 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points respectively.

Of the remaining 31.7% (7.1 million people) of the working age population outside labour force, key reasons for not seeking employment included housework/family responsibilities (42.1%) and schooling (41.6%). The report noted these groups had the potential to join the market.

Other reasons included "going for further studies", "disabled", "not interested", and "retired".

Additionally, the report revealed that Female LFPR rose 0.5 percentage points to 55.2% in 2018.

The participation of female in the market for the prime age 25–34 (73.6%), 35–44 (67.9%) and 45–54 (58.8%) were higher as compared to female LFPR at the national level.

At the same time, the participation of male labour force was increased 0.3 percentage points as compared to the previous year to reach 80.4% in 2018.

The LFPR for age group of 15–24 years recorded the highest increase of 1.2 percentage points to 51.0%. Age group of 35-44 years also recorded an increase 0.3 percentage points to 97.7%. Overall, male LFPR was still higher than female for all age groups.


Labour Force Survey (LFS) is conducted by DOSM every month through household approach to obtain data on the structure of employment and unemployment. This survey covers citizens and non-citizens in urban and rural  Malaysia.

The Labour Force Survey Report is an annual publication which presents the principal statistics of the force for population in the working age of 15 to 64 years old by selected demographic and socioeconomic characteristics such as sex, age group, educational attainment, occupation and industry.

Infographics / Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM) Photo / 123RF

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