employment, unemployment

Taking a y-o-y comparison, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 11% (85,300 persons) in December 2021, from the 772,900 recorded in the same month of 2020.

With more businesses and social activities continuing to operate in December 2021, Malaysia's labour force situation was able to recover modestly, the Department of Statistics noted on Tuesday (8 February 2022). 

According to the Key Statistics of Labour Force in Malaysia, December 2021, this thus allowed for "healthy" growth in employment in the month, while unemployment further decreased.

The number of employed persons continued on an upward trend

Per the statistics, the number of employed persons recorded in December remained on an upward trend. In particular, there were 38,300 more people employed than in November, standing at 15.65mn employed persons (a 0.2% growth).

Comparing the data to December of the previous year, this number grew by 433,300 persons, or 2.8% (December 2020: 15.22mn persons).

Sector-specific growth & Employment-to-population ratio

  • Employment in the services sector remained high for the sixth month in a row, mainly in wholesale and retail trade, food & beverages services, and information & communication activities.
  • The manufacturing and construction sectors also recorded positive growth for five consecutive months.
  • However, employment in agriculture and mining & quarrying sectors continued to decline since August 2020.
  • In December, the employment-to-population ratio (which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment) recorded a slight increase to 66.1% (November 2021: 66.0%). Year on year (y-o-y), the ratio expanded by one percentage point (pp) (December 2020: 65.1%). 

Unemployment continued to decrease

Coming to the unemployment numbers - in December last year, the number of unemployed persons in Malaysia continued to decrease, down 1% (6,800 fewer persons) from the previous month (November: 694,400 unemployed persons). As a result, December's unemployment rate stood at 4.2%, down from 4.3% in November.

Taking a y-o-y comparison, the number of unemployed persons dropped by 11% (85,300 persons) in December 2021, from the 772,900 recorded in the same month of 2020. Accordingly, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.6pp y-o-y.

Unemployment by category 

  • Those who were actively unemployed or those who were available for work and were actively seeking jobs made up 83.8% of the unemployment figures (576,500) in the month. This group saw a 0.9% decrease from November 2021 (581,800).
  • The number of persons who were unemployed for less than three months accounted for 55.9% of the total numbers, while those in long-term unemployment of more than a year made up 7.6%.
  • The youth unemployment rate for those aged 15 to 24 years remained unchanged at 13.7%. The number of unemployed youths for this age group rose to 367,700 in the month, 16,800 more than the previous month (November 2021: 350,900).
  • Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 30 years continued to increase by 0.3pp, to register 8.5% of the total numbers. This was up from the 8.2% recorded in November 2021.

Image / DOSM

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