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Employment in Malaysia has jumped 10% – an increase of 1.3 millions jobs – despite Asia-Pacific labour markets showing signs of being tested by the weak global economic environment.
New data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows revealed some economies have been resilient in the current environment, while others are showing fragility.
“Recent employment trends varied across the region, reflecting differences in economic developments and labour force pressures,” the report said.
Malaysia showed the strongest employment increase, spurred by strong domestic demand and a significant rise in the labour force, followed by Sri Lanka (6.8%).
Employment also expanded in industrialised economies like Macau (5.8%) and Singapore (4.1%) but are slowing in some key markets. In Indonesia, the region’s third-largest workforce, overall employment growth slowed to zero, with a contraction of 1 million jobs.
The report noted young people in Asia-Pacific are not only finding it difficult to find jobs, but decent jobs, with high shares of own-account and contributing family workers.
“Unemployment is only one part of the broader challenge. For young people who find work, job quality is often poor,” said the report.
The report highlighted the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters and environmental shocks, as evidenced by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last November.
The disaster, which killed 6,000 people, has had a major impact on the economy of the Philippines and ILO found that an estimated 5.9 million workers have had their livelihoods impacted by it.