Malaysia’s labour force grew 2% in 2019


THE country’s labour force increased 2% to 15.6 million persons in 2019, from 15.3 million persons in the previous year.

Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said employed person increased by 297,400 persons last year. The labour force participation rate (LFPR) also increased by 0.4 percentage points (ppts) to 68.7% compared to 68.3% in 2018.

“The remaining 31.3% of the working age population was outside the labour force,” he said in a report yesterday.

Mohd Uzir said the unemployment rate remained at 3.3% in 2019. The report also stated that both female and male LFPR rose by 0.4- ppts to 55.6% and 80.8% respectively.

“The participation of women in the labour market for the prime age groups namely 25 to 34 years (73.7%), 35 to 44 years (68%) and 45 to 54 years (58.9%) were higher compared to female LFPR at the national level, ie 55.6%.

“The LFPR for the male age group of 15 to 24 years recorded the highest increase of 2.2ppts to 53.2%. Age group of 25 to 34 years also recorded an increase of 0.4- ppts to 96.1%,” he said, adding that male workers still dominate the local workforce.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the number of employed persons with tertiary education increased 0.8- ppts to 29.4% against 28.6% in the previous year.

The number of employed persons with primary education declined one ppts respectively.

As for the unemployment rates, there were 48.4% active unemployed persons who were jobless for less than three months and 28.6% between three months to less than six months in 2019. Some 9.3% were active unemployed persons of more than one year.

Looking outside of the labour force, Mohd Uzir said a majority of those were housework or family responsibilities and schooling.

“These groups had the potential to join the labour market,” he added.