Jobless rate fell to 3.2% last year


THE unemployment rate declined to 3.2% in 2007 from 3.5% in 2005, reflecting a further tightening in the labour market during this period, according to the report.

A total of 785,000 skilled Malaysians worked in various countries, especially in Singapore in 2006.

The employment of foreign labour increased to 2.04 million in 2007 from 1.8 million in 2005.

The population is expected to grow at a lower rate of 1.2% per annum in the remaining period of the plan to reach 28.24 million in 2010.

The population growth rate is expected to further decline in line with the decreasing fertility rate to 2.07 in 2010 from 2.23 in 2008.

The labour force will grow at a slower rate of 1.76% per annum and employment is expected to grow marginally higher by 1.79%, thus decreasing further the unemployment rate to 3.1% in 2010.

The share of the labour force with tertiary education will increase to 26.7% in 2010 while those with secondary education is expected to increase to 60.1%.

A total of 625,000 new jobs will be created for the remaining period of the plan while demand for knowledge workers is expected to grow at an average rate of 3.1% per annum to account for 47% of total job created.

Meanwhile, various measures will be undertaken to reduce the number of low-skilled foreign labour to 1.80 million in 2010.

In addition, participation of women in labour force will be increased to 50.0% in 2010 from 46.1% in 2007. The Government will review the policy, strategies, labour laws and procedures related to employment of experts and highly skilled foreign labour in specific occupations.

The Brain Gain Programme will be improved to provide a more conducive environment to attract global talent to fill the critical gaps and transfer skills and knowledge. The Malaysian diaspora will be leveraged to forge closer linkages among academia, public and private sectors to facilitate knowledge and technology acquisition.

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