Unemployment rate won't exceed 3.5%

Foreign workers working at a MRT construction site in Jalan Bandar. P.Nathan/The Star

SHAH ALAM: Malaysia's unemployment rate is manageable and not expected to exceed 3.5 per cent this year amid the global economic slowdown, Human Resources Minister, Datuk Seri Richard Riot said.

Riot said Malaysia had always been among countries with low unemployment rates averaging 3.1 per cent.

"In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) benchmark, anything less than four per cent is still regarded as full employment.

"The government has lined up an economic agenda which is expected to produce 1.5 million jobs by 2020 under the 11th Malaysia Plan," he added.

He said this at a press conference after presenting the accreditation as a one-stop centre for the National Dual Training System (SLDN) programme to Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton), here today.

The ministry, together with the Department of Skills Development, awarded Proton the accreditation for automotive skills training.

Riot said Malaysia should still be regarded as a full employment country.

"I believe if the average unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent goes up, it will not likely exceed 3.5 per cent.

"Besides, the government's economic agenda is to produce more new jobs and skilled workers, and the small and medium enterprises are currently still employing a lot of people.

"I believe with projects such as the Petronas Pengerang Integrated Complex and Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, the unemployment rate in Malaysia is not going to exceed 3.5 per cent," he added.

The latest key statistics for the labour force in Malaysia showed the unemployment rate in November 2016 was at 3.4 per cent. The labour force increased 0.4 per cent to 14.83 million compared to the previous month. - Bernama

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