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Malaysia's employment-to-population ratio increases to 68% in April 2024

Malaysia's employment-to-population ratio increases to 68% in April 2024

At the same time, the number of unemployed persons dropped from 566,600 persons in March 2024, to 566,400 persons in April 2024.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has released its' labour force statistics for April 2024.

Per the report, Malaysia's employment-to-population ratio increased to 68% in April 2024.

The statistics were broken down into four categories:

  • Unemployment 
  • Employed persons 
  • Labour force 
  • Outside labour force 


The number of unemployed persons in April 2023 was 586,900 (3.5%). A year later, i.e., in April 2024, the number decreased to 566,400 persons (3.3%). 

By category, 79.7% of Malaysians are actively unemployed, whereas 20.3% are inactively unemployed. 

Actively unemployed

In March 2024, the number of actively unemployed individuals came up to 451,500 persons, where in April 2024, the number decreased to 451,400. 

Inactively unemployed

Meanwhile, the number of inactively unemployed persons in April 2024 remained the same as in March 2024, with 115,000 persons.


In April 2024, the number of employed individuals continued to rise, showing a month-on-month increase of 0.1% (+23,500 people), reaching 16.56mn compared to 16.53mn in March 2024. 

At the same time, the employment-to-population ratio, reflecting the economy's capacity to generate jobs, increased by 0.1 percentage points to 68% in April 2024, up from 67.9% percent in March 2024.

Employed persons by status in employment

Out of the total number of employed persons in April 2024, 75.1% were in the employees' category. 

Here is the breakdown of the other categories:

Unpaid family workers - 3%

Own-account workers - 18.4% 

Employers - 3.6%

Regarding employment by economic sector in April 2024:

  • Services sector: Continued growth in employment, especially in information & communication, food & beverage services, and transportation & storage activities.
  • Other sectors: Employment also increased in manufacturing, construction, mining & quarrying, and agriculture.

These trends indicate widespread job growth across various economic sectors.

Labour force

Coming to details on the labour force — According to DOSM's figures, the number of labour force edged up by 0.1% in April 2024 (+23,400 persons), registering a total of 17.12mn persons (March 2024: 17.10mn persons). 

While this was so, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) during the month remained unchanged at 70.3% as in the previous month.

When broken down by sex, the LFPR was derived of 83.2% males, and 56.5% female.

Outside the labour force

In April 2024, the number of people outside the labour force increased slightly by 0.01% (+600 persons), reaching 7.23mn (March 2024: 7.23 mn).

Main reasons for being outside the labour force included:
- Housework/Family responsibilities: 42.7%
- Schooling/Training: 41.4%

Commenting on the findings, Chief Statistician Malaysia Dato' Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin stated that the positive growth of Malaysia’s economy is projected to continue in the coming quarters, backed by resilient domestic spending patterns and an increase in tourism activity, as well as the positive labour market position and revenue growth. 

"Moreover, external demand is also expected to recover as Malaysia benefits from an increase in global production and international trade.

"Stronger public sector investment in line with progress in the construction sector, especially continued infrastructure development under the 12th Malaysia Plan, will lead to an increase in more jobs.

Dato' Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin added: "This situation will encourage more people to enter the job market, thus boosting Malaysia's labour market position.

"Therefore, a more optimistic condition of the country's labour force is expected in the coming months, in line with Malaysia's favourable economic performance."

READ MORE: Malaysia's employment rate expands in Q1 2024, to record 16.4mn persons amid ongoing labour demand 

Lead image / DOSM

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