Unemployment rate on downtrend


“With 90% of the adult population vaccinated, we expect the economy to move into the endemic Covid-19 phase by end-October.“This will allow more sectors to be reopened with new Covid-19 norms being practised, reinforcing growth and labour market prospects,” AmBank Research said in a report yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: Amid the reopening of the economy and high vaccination rate, Malaysia’s unemployment rate is expected to decline further in the coming months.

In August, the unemployment rate declined to 4.6% from 4.8% in June and July during the full lockdown under the third movement control order.

According to AmBank Research, the unemployment rate for this year is expected to average at 4.4% compared with 4.8% in 2020 as the economy reopens and the labour market continuing on its recovery, albeit at a moderate pace.

“With 90% of the adult population vaccinated, we expect the economy to move into the endemic Covid-19 phase by end-October.“This will allow more sectors to be reopened with new Covid-19 norms being practised, reinforcing growth and labour market prospects,” AmBank Research said in a report yesterday.

In August, the research house said the number of people who were unemployed reduced to 748,800 due to the reopening of the economy.

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons in August rose by 81,800 to a record 15.38 million persons, with the employment-to-population ratio increasing to 65.2%, from 65% in July, it added.

“Looking at economic sectors, we saw an upside in the food and beverage services, wholesale and retail trade, human health as well as social work activities, but the downward trend remains in agriculture and mining and quarrying,” AmBank pointed out.However, it warned that uncertainties of new Covid-19 variants could pose a risk on business prospects.

AmBank also suggested that there is a need to look at the underemployed segment and informal sector to further boost the labour market.

“It will take a few years, likely around 2023, for the country to reach the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.3%,” it said.

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