Employment Rises In Line With National Economic Improvement, Chief Statistician Says

January’s unemployed declined further to record 567.3 thousand persons, with an unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported today (Mac 8) in the release on Statistics of the Labour Force, Malaysia, January 2024.

The statistics described the labour supply situation based on the Labour Force Survey conducted by DOSM.

Chief Statistician Malaysia Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said, “The country’s labour market sustained its upward trend, in line with the ongoing improvement of the national economic situation and consistent with global economic expansion. Therefore, the labour force in January 2024 saw further enhancement, increasing by 0.1 per cent to 17.05 million persons compared to the previous month (December 2023: 17.03 million persons).

“The labour force participation rate during the month was unchanged at 70.2 per cent, as in the preceding month. This positive trend was driven by a continuous increase in the number of employed persons, while the number of unemployed persons declined.”

He added that the number of employed persons continued in an upward trend, with a rise of 0.2 per cent from the previous month to record 16.48 million persons (December 2023: 16.46 million).

In the meantime, the number of unemployed persons decreased further, with a marginal drop of 0.1 per cent to 567.3 thousand persons (December 2023: 567.8 thousand persons).

January’s unemployment rate remained at 3.3 per cent as recorded in the previous month.

“The majority of employed persons in January 2024 were in the employees’ category, constituting 75.2 per cent. This category saw a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent, totalling 12.39 million persons compared to 12.38 million in December 2023.

“On the same note, the own-account workers category continued its increasing trend during the month, rising by 0.3 per cent to 3.01 million persons (December 2023: 3.0 million persons),” Mohd Uzir said.

By economic sector, the number of employed persons in the Services sector remained upward, notably in Wholesale & retail trade; Food & beverage services; and Transportation & storage activities. A similar trend was also observed in the number of employed persons in the Manufacturing, Construction and Mining & quarrying sectors in January 2024. The number of employed persons in the Agriculture sector rebounded during the month compared to last month.

He said, 79.8 per cent of the total unemployed persons were those who were available for work and were actively seeking jobs, or the actively unemployed. This category posted a decrease of 0.2 per cent to record 452.5 thousand persons (December 2023: 453.6 thousand persons).

By duration of unemployment for the actively unemployed, 61.7 per cent were those who were unemployed for less than three months, while 6.5 per cent were those who were in long-term unemployment for more than a year. Meanwhile, the inactively unemployed or those who believed that there were no jobs available rose by 0.5 per cent registering 114.7 thousand persons (December 2023: 114.2 thousand persons).

In January 2024, the unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 years stood at 10.6 per cent, recording the number of unemployed youths at 306.8 thousand persons (December 2023: 10.6%; 307.2 thousand persons).

On the same note, the unemployment rate among youth aged 15 to 30 years was 6.7 per cent, with 439.7 thousand unemployed youths (December 2023: 6.4%; 432.1 thousand persons).

As for the inactivity group, the number of persons outside the labour force posted a slight decline of 0.01 per cent to 7.23 million persons in January 2024 compared to the previous month (December 2023: 7.23 million persons). The major composition of those outside the labour force was housework/ family responsibilities, accounting for 42.5 per cent, while schooling/ training ranked second with 40.8 per cent.

In early 2024, the economic situation in Malaysia was observed to be steady, with higher domestic demand anticipated as a result of January’s inflation decreases, a robust job market, and supportive financial positions.

The increase in tourism activities may improve economic activities, thus lead to various businesses and job opportunities as well. Therefore, the labour market in Malaysia is anticipated to improve and remain stable over the next few months, driven by a resilient domestic economy. This situation is expected to continue to generate increased demand for employment, thus serving as an important key to sustaining economic stability.

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