THE labour market in Malaysia remains healthy.
Data show the country is still operating at full-employment condition, with the jobless rate remaining low at 3.3% for the third consecutive month in July 2019. This compared with a jobless rate of 3.4% in July 2018.
Despite the low joblessness rate, however, the current number indicates there were 524,800 persons in the country without a job in July.
That’s an increase from 521,400 unemployed individuals in the preceding month.
The rising number of unemployed people in the country is a concern, as economists note, a stable labour market is crucial for Malaysia, as the country is now counting on domestic consumption to drive growth amid growing global economic uncertainties.
In general, though, many are expecting Malaysia’s unemployment rate to remain stable at current levels through 2019, supported by a healthy growth rate of at least 4.5% this year.
Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies appears to have been trending down for two consecutive months, with vacant positions declining from 105,100 in April to 66,500 in May and 59,800 in June.
Job vacancies continued to be dominated by low-skilled type of jobs, contributing to as much as 65% of overall vacancies.
The next question is, are Malaysian workforce ready for a future with artificial intelligence (AI).
According to PERSOLKELLY’s latest Asia Pacific Third Quarter Workforce Insights report, the perception towards the rise of AI and automation among Malaysians are generally positive, although adoption of such technology among businesses could result in job losses.
Featuring responses from more than 7,000 hiring managers and employees from twelve markets in Asia Pacific (Apac), including Malaysia, the report found 74% of Malaysian workers agree AI could increase their work efficiency, 73% believe AI will enable them to perform their duties better, 72% agree AI will make their job easier, and 68% of Malaysians believe AI has the potential of raising a company’s bottom line.