“Kerajaan Gagal”: Unemployment rate for April 2021 drops to 4.6%

(Malaysia Now) – The country’s unemployment rate for April 2021 dropped to 4.6%, the lowest since October 2020, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported today.

Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of unemployed people was reduced by 0.1 percentage point or 10,500 persons month-on-month to 742,700 individuals compared to 753,200 recorded in March.

“Malaysia’s labour force continued to be on a recovery path in April 2021 as the recovery movement control order (RMCO) in most states and conditional MCO gave more opportunities for businesses to continue their activities in full capacity while adhering to strict SOPs.

“Better business outlook was also reflected by the performance of the leading index (LI) for March 2021 which posted an increase of 1.8% month-on-month (February 2021: 1.1%).

“Hence, the labour force in April 2021 recorded a month-on-month increase of 0.1% or an addition of 12,200 persons to record 16.09 million persons (March 2021: 16.08 million persons). The labour force participation rate (LFPR) for the month stood at 68.6%,” he said in a statement today.

Uzir said the actively unemployed, which is defined as those who are available for work and actively seeking a job, encompassing more than 80% of total unemployed persons, decreased by 8,200 persons (-1.3%) to 618,700 (March 2021: 626,900 persons).

“Of the total actively unemployed, 52.1% were unemployed for less than three months.

“Observing the inactivity group, the number of the outside labour force during the month posted an increase of 13,100 persons to 7.38 million persons (March 2021: 7.36 million persons) and was dominated by schooling/training categories with 43.5% (3.21 million persons), followed by housework/family responsibilities with 42.1% (3.10 million persons),” he said.

The number of employed people remained on an increasing trend with a month-on-month gain of 22,700 persons to post 15.35 million persons, while the employment-to-population ratio which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment remained unchanged at 65.4% in April 2021.

Services registered an upward trend in the number of employed persons during the month, largely in the wholesale and retail trade; food and beverages services; education; and human health and social work activities.

“Similar trends were also observed in the manufacturing and construction sectors while both agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors continued to record a negative month-on-month momentum,” he said.

Uzir said own-account workers registered an addition of 12,300 persons to record 2.49 million persons in April following the continuous operations of small businesses during the month.

The number of employed persons who were temporarily not working remained on a declining trend with a reduction of 5,000 persons to record 116,000 persons.

He said May 2021 had witnessed the public health crisis situation in Malaysia getting more challenging with a rise in the number of daily Covid-19 infections, resulting in the implementation of a total lockdown nationwide from June 1 to 14 with the closure of all economic and social sectors except for essential economic and service sectors.

“The labour market condition is foreseen to face another challenging situation in the upcoming months but the provision of various forms of assistance by the government may cushion the impact and subsequently restore the labour market condition,” he added.