The number of unemployed persons also declined further in the month.
Per the Department of Statistics (DOSM), Malaysia’s labour market performance remained resilient in January 2023.
On the employment front, the number of employed persons further increased in January 2023 by 0.2% (28,900) to record 16.16mn persons within a month (December 2022: 16.13mn persons). Similarly, in seasonally adjusted terms, the number of employed persons increased by 0.2%. Comparing on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, the number of employed persons surged by 3%, or 473,200 persons from January 2022 (15.69mn persons).
Looking deeper by sector, Malaysia's service sector continued to register increases in the number of employed persons, largely in wholesale & retail trade; food & beverage services, and administrative & support service activities. A similar employment trend was also observed in the manufacturing, construction and mining & quarrying sectors, as well as in the agriculture sector.
In January, the employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, remained at 67.3%. Compared to the previous year, the ratio rose by 1.1 percentage points (pp) from 66.2% in January 2022.
During the month, the number of employed persons who were temporarily not working declined by 10,300 persons (-11.3%) to reach 81,300 persons (December 2022: 91,600 persons). In the meantime, this category fell by 13.0% year-on-year (-12,200 persons) as compared to 93,500 persons recorded in January 2022.
Coming to unemployment, the number of unemployed persons declined further in January 2023 to record 596,100 persons, which translates to a drop of 0.6% (-3,500 persons) from 599,600 persons in December 2022.
Overall, the unemployment rate during the month remained at 3.6%. In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 0.3%, and subsequently, the unemployment rate declined to 3.6%.
As compared to the same month of the preceding year, the number of unemployed persons posted a decrease of 12.4%, or equivalent to a reduction of 84,300 persons from January 2022 (680,400 persons).
Subsequently, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.6pp as compared to 4.2% in January 2022.
Encompassing 80.8% of the total, the majority of unemployed persons were actively unemployed, or those who were available for work and actively seeking jobs. This category registered a decline of 0.5% (-2,600 persons) to record 481,600 persons (December 2022: 484,200 persons).
Labour force figures improved further in January 2023
The number of labour force improved further in January 2023, increasing by 0.2% or 25,400 persons to record 16.76mn persons (December 2022: 16.73mn persons), according to DOSM.
Meanwhile, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) was unchanged at 69.8%. In the seasonally adjusted estimate, the labour force increased marginally by 0.1%, while the LFPR stood at 69.7%. By comparing a year prior, the number of labour force remained stable, with an increase of 2.4% (389, 000 persons) from 16.37mn in January 2022. Accordingly, the LFPR increased by 0.7pp, as against the 69.1% recorded in January 2022.
Lead image / Department of Statistics Malaysia
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