PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's informal employment has reached 3.5 million persons in 2021, contributing 23.2% of the country's total employment, reports the Statistics Department (DOSM).
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin in a statement on Friday (Dec 30) said the higher employment number in the informal sector during the year was partly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"There was labour mobility within sectors of the economy in order to support their lives, especially for those who were heavily impacted by the outbreak in the tourism sector and tourism-related industries," he said.
Mohd Uzir said of the total informal employment, 57% or two million persons were in the informal sector and 42% or 1.5 million persons were in the formal sector.
He said more than 70% of the employment in the informal sector was in the own-account workers category, which saw an increase of 2% from 2019.
"Meanwhile, the employees' category contributed 19.2% rising by 8% from 2019.
"Employees in this sector are those who work as house builders, babysitters, food hawkers, bakers, grass cutters, labourers, construction (building work), street stall salespersons, tailors, market salespersons, food and beverages delivery riders and drivers.
"Internet salesperson and programmer analyst were among the jobs in the informal sector with the highest increase in 2021," he said.
Mohd Uzir said the informal sector's main criteria include having fewer than 10 employees and not being registered under specific forms of national legislation, while a worker in informal employment refers to any worker who does not have access to at least one social security scheme or employment benefit.
He said two-thirds of the employment in the informal sector was concentrated in the services sector at 67.5%, followed by the manufacturing sector (19.1%) and the construction sector (13.4%).
"Wholesale and retail trade activities, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles accounted for 24% of the services sector, followed by food and beverage services activities at 23.1%.
"The majority of employment in the informal sector operates at home (37.1%), followed by markets/ street stalls (29.2%), no fixed location (mobile) with 20.7%, and factory/ office/ workshop (13%)," he said.
Additionally, Mohd Uzir said from the distribution of informal employment by sex, male was the highest composition with 61.0% recorded at 2.13 million persons and followed by female with 39.0% to record 1.37 million persons in 2021.
Moreover, he said it was also observed that most of the employment in the informal sector were those with SPM certificates and equivalents, which encompassed 46.6% or 607,000 persons of the total employment in this sector.
"This group recorded a rise of 4.5% as against 555,500 persons in 2019. This was followed by UPSR certificates and equivalents (15.3%) and PT3/ PMR certificates (13.2%)," he added. – Bernama