Workforce strengthens as unemployment rate drops

Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin. -filepic

PETALING JAYA: The number of unemployed in the country has dropped by 5,000 or 0.6% in February, according to Statistics of Labour Force in Malaysia.

In January, the number of unemployed was 782,500 while in February, there were 777,500 people. Overall, the unemployment rate for that period dropped by 0.1% from 4.9% to 4.8%.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of unemployed persons or persons who were available for work and were actively looking for jobs decreased by 9,800 to 647,400 in February from 657,200 persons in January.

“Those who were unemployed for less than three months accounted for 50.6% of the actively unemployed, while 11.3% of actively unemployed were in long-term unemployment of more than a year, ” he said in a statement.

Mohd Uzir said the number of employed persons rose by 33,300, from 15.24 million in January to 15.27 million in February, recording an upward trend for three consecutive months.

By economic sector, Mohd Uzir said the number of employed persons in the services sector rose continuously especially in wholesale and retail trade, education, health and social work activities, while the tourism-related industry stayed on a declining trend.

He said the number of employed people in the manufacturing and construction sectors stayed positive whereas the agriculture, mining and quarrying sectors recorded reductions.

Mohd Uzir added the number of employed people continued to increase while the number of unemployed persons declined, the labour force increased marginally by 0.2% month-on-month to 16.05 million people in February 2021 from 16.02 million persons in January, while the labour force participation rate (LFPR) in February 2021 remained at 68.5%.

He added the employment-to-population ratio which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment remained stagnant at 65.2% in February 2021

On the overall labour force situation, Mohd Uzir said despite the extension of the movement control order and continued interstate travel restriction, things were gradually improving since early March 2021.

Reopening of the pre-primary and primary education sectors in stages benefitted school-related activities, especially bus services, canteens and bookshops, he said.

“This situation, coupled with the resumption of more economic activities since February 2021, might boost demand in the economy and, in turn, will have a positive impact on the labour market, ” he said.

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