June jobless rate lowest since pandemic struck, says Tok Pa


PETALING JAYA: Unemployment in the country has dipped to 3.8% - its lowest since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak two years ago, says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

"The unemployment rate in June decreased to 3.8%, which is the lowest since the nation was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The number of unemployed has dropped to 630,600 compared to 3.9% or 637,700 in May this year," the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 9).

He said these statistics were published by the National Statistics Department today.

"The nation has achieved full employment since April this year based on the definition of full employment by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

(OECD) if the unemployment rate is below 4%," he added.

Mustapa said that the status of the workforce in the country has stabilised further due to ongoing increases in manpower by 0.2% month on month from 16.54 million in May to 16.57 million in June.

He said that workforce participation remained at 69.5% for the respective months.

"The achievement in the labour market for June is in line with the strengthening of current economic activities following the transition phase towards endemicity throughout the country.

"Demand for labour has increased and at the same time created more opportunities in the market," he added.

Meanwhile, Mustapa also noted that there have also been encouraging performances in several main economic indicators.

Among them, he said, was an increase in trade by 43.4% in June to a new high of RM270.4bil with exports increasing by 38.8% to RM146.2bil.

He added that the Industrial Output Index also rose by 12.1% in June, the highest since May 2021 while the manufacturing, electronic and mining sectors increased by 14.5% 14.1% and 2.1% respectively.

"The value of sales for the Malaysian manufacturing sector in June increased by 23.4%, which is the highest since May 2021 with a recorded sales value of RM153.5bil.

"This achievement was sparked mainly by the electrical and electronic equipment sectors which increased by 25.4%," Mustapa said.

He added that the number of resident workers had also increased by 0.2% in June to 15.94 million from 15.9 million in the previous month.

He said there was strengthening of the labour force in all sectors except for the mining and quarrying sectors.

He added that the increase in workforce was spurred by the service sectors namely food and beverage, wholesale and retail trade, administration and support services sectors.

"The nation's economy is forecasted to grow this year at the targeted rate or between 5.3% and 6.6%," he added.

Mustapa said the long term unemployment rate would remain around an average of 3.4%. (2011 to 2021)

He said this is based taking into account job creation and employment opportunities created through various government initiatives such as JaminKerja and MyFutureJobs.

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