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In May 2021, there were 15.37mn employed persons; while the unemployment rate was at 4.5%, a 0.1 percentage point improvement as compared to April 2021.

The latest labour report from Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) revealed an increase to the nation’s number of employed persons (bekerja). For the month of May, there were 15.37mn Malaysians employed as compared to 15.35mn in April 2021.

Malaysia’s employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, stood at 65.4% in May. Comparing to year-on-year, this year’s ratio is up by 1.0 percentage point (pp) from 64.4% (May 2020).

According to the department, the number of employed persons come mostly from the services sector. There was a month-on-month increase particularly in the sectors of wholesale and retail trade, food and beverages services, and human health and social work activities.

The same holds true for employed persons in manufacturing sector, which “continued its positive growth for seven months”, DOSM shared. The same didn't hold true for the sectors of construction, agriculture, and mining and quarrying sectors, where the number of employed persons declined.

A lower unemployment rate

Other than an improvement in the number of employed persons in the market, there was also an improvement to Malaysia’s unemployment rate for May 2021, which has been on a downward trend since February 2021.

According to the report, there were fewer number of unemployed persons (menganggur) registered at 728.1 thousand persons in May 2021, as compared to 742.7 thousand persons in April 2021. In terms of percentage, the unemployment rate was slightly lower in May 2021 by 0.1pp to 4.5% as against 4.6% in April 2021.

The actively unemployed persons, who comprise more than 80% of the total unemployed persons, stood at 609.9 thousand persons—a reduction of 8.7 thousand persons from 618.7 thousand persons from April 2021.

Among the actively unemployed who were available for work and were actively seeking jobs, the department shared that 52.2% were unemployed for less than three months; while those who were in long-term unemployment of more than a year registered at 10.2%.

On the other hand, the inactively unemployed, who believed that there were no jobs available, continued to decline by 5.8 thousand persons (-4.7%) to 118.2 thousand persons, which in April 2021, it was at 124.0 thousand persons.

Looking at Malaysia’s unemployed youths (aged 15 to 24 years), although there was an increase by 17.4 thousand persons to 328.1 thousand persons as compared to the previous month (April 2021: 310.7 thousand persons), their unemployment rate edged down by 0.1pp to 13.6% from 13.7% in April 2021.

For those aged between 15 to 30 years, however, the unemployment rate “climbed up by 0.5pp to 9.2% in May 2021 from 8.7% in April.

Find the full report here.

Image / Unsplash

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