malaysia's labour force, employment, unemployment

The positive month-on-month growth of employed persons stood at 0.2% (+37.5 thousand persons), with 15.69mn persons employed in the month (December 2021: 15.65mn persons).

Malaysia's labour force continued to see improvements in January 2022, with all states having moved to Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan. This growth was led by the continuous rise in employment while unemployed persons trended down, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM)  noted on Wednesday (9 March 2022).

A similar trend was also observed in the year-on-year comparison, with a significant increase in the labour force.

Overall, the data showcased the following:

Employment

In January, the positive month-on-month growth of employed persons stood at 0.2% (+37.5 thousand persons), with 15.69mn persons employed in the month (December 2021: 15.65mn persons).

Meanwhile, the number of employed persons remained on an increasing trend year-on-year by registering a growth of 2.9% (448,800 persons). In January 2021, the number stood at 15.24mn persons employed.

By economic sector, the number of employed persons in services persistently recorded a month-on-month increase, particularly in food & beverages services, wholesale & retail trade, and information & communication activities; while the manufacturing and construction sectors also observed growth in employment.

On the contrary, the agriculture and mining & quarrying sectors saw a declining trend in employment, what has been continuing for the past 18 months.

According to DOSM, the employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, rose by 0.1 percentage points (pp) to 66.2% in January, as compared to 66.1% in the previous month. Likewise, on year-on-year basis, the ratio grew by 1pp from 65.2% in January 2021.

Unemployment

On the unemployment front, Malaysia recorded a further decline in unemployed persons in January 2022 (680,400 unemployed), which was a 1.1% decrease (-7,300 persons) from the number recorded in December 2021 (687,600).

In total, the unemployment rate in the month of January stood at 4.2%.

Looking at the year-on-year data — the number of unemployed persons in January 2022 posted a decrease of 13.1% (equivalent to 102,200 persons), from 782,500 persons in January 2021. Subsequently, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.7pp (January 2021: 4.9%).

Per DOSM's update, the significant year-on-year decrease was due the implementation of the movement control order in Peninsular Malaysia in January last year.


Image / DOSM

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