Malaysia’s Employed Persons Rises Steadily While Unemployment Rate Remains At 3.5%

Shell workers in Penang Port

The number of employed persons in May 2023 increased steadily, with a rise of 0.2 per cent (+28.1 thousand persons) to record 16.28 million persons (April 2023: 16.25 million persons).

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), in its release entitled ‘Monthly Principal Statistics of Labour Force’ today (July 10) said over the month, the employment-to-population ratio which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, rose 0.1 percentage points to 67.6 per cent as compared to the previous month (April 2023: 67.5%).

Looking at the employed persons by economic sector, the Services sector continued to register a positive trend, particularly in Food & beverage services; Wholesale & retail trade; and Information & communication activities.

Similar trends in employment were also observed in the Manufacturing, Construction, Mining & quarrying and Agriculture sectors.

Out of the total employed persons, the largest composition was the employees’ category with 75.5 per cent. This category posted a rise of 0.1 per cent (+11.6 thousand persons) to 12.29 million persons in May 2023 as compared to the previous month (April 2023: 12.28 million persons).

Likewise, the own-account workers, which consist mostly of daily income earners working as small businesses such as small retailers; hawkers; sellers in markets and stalls; as well as smallholders, also posted an upward trend, with an addition of 14.0 thousand persons (+0.5%) to 2.94 million persons (April 2023: 2.92 million persons).

In May 2023, the number of unemployed persons continued to decline, with a reduction of 0.4 per cent (-2.3 thousand persons) to 584.6 thousand persons (April 2023: 586.9 thousand persons).

The unemployment rate stood at 3.5 per cent during the month (April 2023: 3.5%).

In May 2023, the number of labour force continued to record an upward trend, with an increase of 0.2 per cent, which equivalent to 25.7 thousand persons to 16.86 million persons (April 2023: 16.84 million persons).

May’s labour force participation rate (LFPR) held steady at 70.0 per cent (April 2023: 70.0%).

The number of persons outside the labour force in May 2023, remained on a declining trend with a reduction of 0.02 per cent (-1.4 thousand persons) to record 7.23 million persons (April 2023: 7.23 million persons).

The major composition of the outside labour force was due to housework/ family responsibilities (43.7%), while schooling/ training ranked second with 40.2 per cent.

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