Total jobs in the economic sector dips marginally in 3Q21

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYSIA’S total jobs in the economic sector dipped by 0.8% to 8.41 million in the third quarter of 2021 (3Q21) from 8.47 million jobs a year ago, according to the report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia yesterday. 

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the decrease in total jobs revealed a lower demand for labour resulting from the continuation of the containment measures and interstate travel restrictions during this quarter. 

He added that following the presence of highly infectious variants of Covid-19, the government had to implement another Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 that came into effect in June 2021 and continued until the end of August 2021. 

“Consequent to this, the number of filled jobs posted a decrease of 0.7% recording 8.23 million jobs in 3Q21 compared to 8.3 million jobs in 3Q20. 

“On the same note, the number of job vacancies in this quarter was 174,000 edged down by 3% compared to 179,300 in 3Q20,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

According to Mohd Uzir, in comparison to the pre-crisis period, the number of job vacancies continued to be lower than the average of 200,000 job vacancies recorded. 

In the meantime, he said both rates of filled jobs and job vacancies during the quarter stood at 97.9% and 2.1% respectively. 

Commenting further on the filled job situation during 3Q21, Mohd Uzir said the only sector that posted an increase of filled jobs in the quarter was the manufacturing sector with a growth of 1.6% to record 2.19 million jobs whereas other sectors continued in a downward trend. 

In terms of composition, a total of 4.32 million filled jobs (52.4%) were concentrated in the services sector, followed by manufacturing (26.6%) and construction (14.8%). 

Mohd Uzir said more than half of the job vacancies were in the manufacturing sector encompassing 56.9% or equivalent to 99,200 job vacancies, primarily in electrical, electronics (E&E) and optical products sub-sector (31,400); followed by petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (18,200). 

“The agriculture sector ranked second, with 28,700 job vacancies (16.5%), followed by the services sector which recorded 25,300 job vacancies (14.6%) mainly in finance, insurance, real estate and business services. 

“By skill category, job vacancies in the semi-skilled category accounted for 95,400, remaining as the largest component with a share of 54.8%. 

“This was followed by the skilled category (42,100; 24.2%) and low-skilled category (36,600: 21%),” he noted. 

Mohd Uzir added that with stricter containment measures still in place for the first two months of this quarter, the number of jobs created has decreased by 28.5% recording 15,000 jobs compared to 3Q20. 

He said by skilled category, the jobs created were mostly in the semi-skilled category which accounted for 62.1% or 9,300 while skilled category comprised 30.1% (4,500). 

The highest number of jobs created was recorded in the manufacturing sector accounting for 43.9% with 6,600 jobs, particularly in the E&E and optical products sub-sector. 

The services sector encompassed 34.9%, construction (15.8%), agricul- ture (4.9%) and mining and quarrying (0.5%). 

Mohd Uzir commented that the overall performance of the labour demand during 3Q21 still indicated slower momentum in the economic sector subsequent to the inevitable health crisis. 

However, he said an emerging recovery, supported by the increasing number of fully vaccinated and reducing infection rates, will allow a safer and wider domestic reopen- ing, and considerations to relax international border restrictions. 

“This was portrayed by the positive sign in the labour supply side with the unemployment rate declining to 4.5% in September as against 4.6% in August. 

“Notably, these positive developments as well as the transition of states to the next phase in stages starting from the middle of August 2021 will facilitate more economic activities to be resumed which in turn is anticipated to inflict a gradual recovery of labour demand in the near time,” he said.