Malaysia, Labour Force, Employment, Unemployment, Department of Statistics

For comparison, the last quarter of 2021 noted 16.14mn persons.

Malaysia noted its highest recorded labour force participation rate (LFPR) since the first quarter of 2020, at 69%. Despite this growth of 0.3pp from the preceding quarter, the LFPR still remained below its pre-pandemic rate of 68.8% in Q1 2020. 

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) also observed that the labour force expanded by 0.7%, or 111,100 persons, in the first quarter of 2022, reaching a total of 16,250,000 persons. For comparison, the last quarter of 2021 noted 16,140,000 persons. 

The employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, recorded an increase of 0.5pp, reaching 66.2% from 65.7% in Q4 2021. Meanwhile, the number of outside labour force declined by 71,600 persons to record 7,290,000 persons (Q4 2021: 7.36mn persons). 

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On a year-on-year basis, the labour force increased by 237,800 persons from 16,010,000 in Q1 2021, while the LFPR increased by 0.4pp from 68.6% (Q1 2021).

Growth in number of employed persons 

The number of employed persons increased by 0.9% (+134,200 persons) to 15.57mn persons (Q4 2021:15.44mn persons) during the first quarter of 2022. Simultaneously, employed persons rose by 2.2%, equivalent to 338,300 persons, as compared to the first quarter of 2021 (which was 15.24mn persons).

Looking into the data by educational attainment, employed persons with secondary education recorded the highest share of 56.1%, or 8.74mn persons. This was followed by employed persons with tertiary education which made up a share of 31.5%, or 4.90mn persons. 

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Unemployment rate continues to drop

Malaysia's unemployment rate dropped by 0.2pp compared to the previous quarter, recording 4.1% (Q4 2021: 4.3%). Similarly, the number of unemployed persons in this quarter totaled 23,100 persons, having reduced by 23,100 persons from 694,400 in Q4 2021.

The DOSM report also noted that there were 593,000 persons who were actively unemployed, making up for 88.3% of unemployed persons — an increase of 0.3pp from the previous quarter (Q4 2021: 88.0%; 611,000 persons). Correspondingly, the percentage share of the inactively unemployed decreased by 0.3pp to 11.7% (Q4 2021: 12.0%; 83.4 thousand persons). 

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The number of those outside the labour force decreased by 1%, which was equivalent to 71,600 persons, as compared to the previous quarter. This drop led to a total of 7.29mn persons (Q4 2021: 7,360,000 persons). Against the same quarter of the preceding year (Q1 2021:7.32 million persons), the number of outside labour force also decreased by 0.4%, equivalent to 26,100 persons.

Interestingly, women made up more than half of composition in outside labour force, accounting for 69.1%, or 5.04mn persons. Meanwhile, men comprised 30.9% of the outside labour force, corresponding to 2.25mn persons. 

All images / DOSM 

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