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Number of unemployed persons in Malaysia decreased in February 2024

Number of unemployed persons in Malaysia decreased in February 2024

In particular, there were 300 fewer people unemployed in February 2024 when compared to the month before (567,000 vs 567,300).

The Department of Statistics Malaysia shared its' Labour Force Statistics for February 2024 on 8 April 2024, revealing that the number of unemployed persons in the country fell in February 2024. 

The report broke down the statistics into four categories: 

  • unemployment,
  • employment,
  • labour force, and
  • outside labour force


The number of unemployed persons in February 2024 was 567,000. This was slightly lower (0.1%) than that in January 2024 (567,300). 

This, therefore, registered a 3.3% unemployment rate as in the previous month. 

Similarly, the number of unemployed persons reduced further by 4.2% (-24,900 persons) compared to February 2023 (591,900 persons).

Furthermore, those who were available for work and were actively seeking jobs made up 79.8% of the total unemployed persons in February 2024, marking a marginal decrease of 0.04%. 

This means that in January 2024, 452,500 persons were ready to work, but in January 2023, there were 452,400 persons. 

On the other hand, those who were inactively unemployed were 114,600 in February 2024, down from 114,700 persons in January 2024. 

Employed persons

A total of 16.51mn people were employed in February 2024, up 0.2% from the number recorded in January (16.48mn).

The employment-to-population ratio in January 2024 was similar to that of February 2024 at 67.9%. 

In terms of the economic sector, the Services sector continued to register an increase in the number of employed persons. 

This can be seen in the following sectors: 

  1. Wholesale & retail trade
  2. F&B services
  3. Transportation & storage activities

The following sectors also saw a rise in the number of employed persons in February 2024: 

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Construction
  3. Mining & quarrying
  4. Agriculture

Of the total employed persons in February 2024, 75.2% were in the employees' category, and recorded a slight increase of 0.1%, from 12.39mn persons in January 2024, to record 12.41mn persons. 

The own-account workers category was also on an upward rise, rising by 0.3% and registered 3.02mn persons in February 2024, more than those in January 2024 (3.01mn).

Labour force 

February 2024's labour force participation rate stood at 70.2%, standing at the same figure as January. While this was so, the number of persons in the labour force in February was 17.07mn, slightly higher from what was recorded in the month before (17.05mn). 

Outside the labour force

The number of persons outside of the labour force in January 2024 and February 2024 remained at 7.23mn. 

However, year-on-year, the number of persons outside the labour force saw a 0.1% drop from 7.24mn recorded in February 2023.

The main reason for outside the labour force was due to housework/ family responsibilities (42.5%) and schooling or training (41.0%), according to the data.

READ MORE: More than 3 in 10 Malaysia employees surveyed would quit their jobs if they can't future proof their skills

Lead image / DOSM 

Infographics / DOSM Labour Force Report

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