Malaysia’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.5% In Feb With 591.9 Thousand Unemployed: DOSM

(photo credit: Pew Research)

In February 2023, the number of employed persons continued to rise by 0.2 per cent (+30.0 thousand persons), recording 16.19 million persons (January 2023: 16.16 million persons).

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) in its Key Statistics of Labour Force in Malaysia, February 2023  released today (April 10) stated the employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, increased 0.1 percentage points to 67.4 per cent during this month (January 2023: 67.3%).


By economic sectors, the number of employed persons in the Services sector continued to increase, particularly in Food & beverage services; Wholesale & retail trade; and Administrative & support service activities. This trend was also reflected in the Manufacturing, Construction and Mining & quarrying sectors, as well as in the Agriculture sector.

The employees’ category comprised 75.7 per cent, which consistently has the largest composition of employed persons. This category registered a month-on-month increase of 0.1 per cent (+12.6 thousand persons) from the previous month to 12.25 million persons in February 2023 (January 2023: 12.24 million persons). Likewise, the own-account workers also portrayed a similar trend, rising by 0.5 per cent (+14.7 thousand persons) reaching a total of 2.89 million persons (January 2023: 2.88 million persons).

The number of unemployed persons in February 2023 continued to be on a downward trend, with a decrease of 0.7 per cent (-4.2 thousand persons) to 591.9 thousand persons (January 2023: 596.1 thousand persons). Accordingly, the unemployment rate during the month fell by 0.1 percentage points to 3.5 per cent (January 2023: 3.6%).

The number of labour force in February 2023, is continuing its upward trend, with a month-on-month rise of 0.2 per cent or equivalent to 25.8 thousand persons to 16.78 million persons (January 2023: 16.76 million persons), recording a higher labour force participation rate (LFPR) at 69.9 per cent (January 2023: 69.8%).

The number of persons outside the labour force in February 2023 continued to decrease, with a reduction of 1.6 thousand persons (-0.02%) to record 7.24 million persons (January 2023: 7.24 million persons). The major composition of the outside labour force was due to housework/ family responsibilities (43.2%), followed by schooling/ training with 40.6 per cent.

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