The unemployment rate in Malaysia escalated 0.3 percentage points month-on-month to 5.3% in May 2020, after registering at 5% in April 2020. During the same period, the number of unemployed persons went up by 47.3 thousand to 826.1 thousand persons as against 778.8 thousand persons. Meanwhile, year-on-year, the unemployed rose by 306.3 thousand persons.

This was per data by the Department of Statistics Malaysia on the Key Statistics of Labour Force in Malaysia, May 2020. Unemployed refers to those who do not have a job but are interested to work. There are two groups of unemployed persons tracked, that is, the actively unemployed and inactively unemployed.

unemployment may dosm tiny

As such, employed persons recorded a marginal decline of 0.3% (April 2020: -2.0%) month-on-month to 14.89mn persons. In line with this, the employment-to-population ratio which provides information on the ability of an economy to create employment dropped further by 0.4 percentage points to post 64.4%.

Overall, the number of labour force rose marginally by 1.8 thousand persons, as against April 2020 to record 15.71mn persons.  

The outside labour force recorded inflows of 47.0 thousand persons as against April 2020. This brought the total number to 7.39mn persons. A combination of more than 80% was outside labour force due to housework/family responsibilities and schooling.

Labour force participation rate (LFPR)

In May 2020, the number of labour force rose marginally by 1.8 thousand persons, as against April 2020 to record 15.71mn persons. Meanwhile, year-on-year, labour force recorded an increase of 71.7 thousand persons (0.5%).

The LFPR in May 2020 stood at 68%, registering a decline of 0.1 percentage point month-on-month as outflows into outside labour force continued to increase. This was the lowest LFPR recorded since December 2017. In comparison, the lowest LFPR ever recorded was 62.6% in 2008.

All images / Department of Statistics Malaysia