The unemployment rate in Malaysia dropped slightly in September 2020 as the number of unemployed fell by 0.6 per cent month-on-month to record 737,500 persons from 741,600 persons in August. Conversely, employment continued to increase in September, where employed persons rose 0.3 per cent to 15.19 million persons mainly in the manufacturing and services sectors.
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said a decline in employment was observed in the agriculture and construction sectors and that this may reflect shortages of labour supply in both sectors. He added that the employment-to-population ratio for September remained at 65.2 per cent.
Mohd Uzir said the labour market situation for the month could also be seen through the Loss of Employment (LOE) statistics reported by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), which recorded a decrease of 20.2 per cent to 7,388 persons in September as compared to the previous month (9,261 persons). Likewise, he said, the retrenchment numbers reported by the Labour Department also showed a declining trend, while MYFuture Jobs reported a total of 58,607 vacancies in the Employment Insurance System (EIS), compared to 49,811 jobseekers.
On employment status, Mohd Uzir said the employee’s category rose by 14,900 persons from the previous month to 11.73 million persons, with own-account workers up by 0.7 per cent encompassing 2.43 million persons. “As for the labour force, a total of 15.93 million persons registered in September with an increase of 0.2 per cent from 15.90 million persons in August. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) remained at 68.4 per cent,” he said.
On labour supply situation during the third quarter of 2020, Mohd Uzir said after recording a high rate of unemployment at 5.1 per cent in the second quarter, the quarter saw a decline to 4.7 per cent.
In relation to the labour force statistics up to September and the current scenario, he said the Statistics Department had revised the forecast of the unemployment rate for 2020 ranging 4.4 per cent to 4.7 per cent as against the earlier forecast of 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent. “With this revised rate, the forecasted number of unemployed for the year 2020 will be in the range of 701,000 to 729,000 persons,” Mohd Uzir said.