Malaysian labour force showed gradual recovery in 2021

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

PUTRAJAYA – Malaysia’s labour force indicated a gradual recovery in 2021 with a better situation anticipated in 2022, said Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin.

He said Malaysia’s labour force, which comprised employed and unemployed persons, edged up by 0.8 per cent to 15.8 million persons last year compared to 15.7 million in 2020.

“The number of employed persons was up by 0.7 per cent to 15.1 million in 2021 compared to the previous year.

“The reopening of more economic and social activities had encouraged the inactive groups to shift into the labour force, either to be employed or in search for jobs,” he said in a statement today following the release of the annual Statistics of Labour Force, Malaysia, 2021 report.

Mohd Uzir said the majority of employed persons in 2021 were in the semi-skilled occupation category who accounted for 57.7 per cent or 8.7 million of the total employed persons in 2021, followed by the skilled category with 29.6 per cent (4.5 million) while the low-skilled category constituted 12.7 per cent (1.9 million).

In terms of status in employment, he said the employees category formed the largest share of employed persons at 78.5 per cent in 2021, with the number of employed persons in the category recording a year-on-year increase of 2.3 per cent to 11.8 million from 11.6 million in 2020.

The own-account workers category made up 14.8 per cent, declining to 2.2 million persons in 2021, he added.

“As the pandemic prolonged in 2021, many businesses, especially small and micro enterprises were impacted due to multiple restrictions implemented in selected high-risk areas,” he said.

On the unemployment rate in 2021, he said there was a slight increase of 0.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent with the number of unemployed persons increasing from 733,000 to 711,000 in 2020.

He said states which registered higher unemployment rates than the national level were Sabah (8.2 per cent), Federal Territory of Labuan (7.4 per cent) and Perak (5.3 per cent), while Putrajaya (1.6 per cent), Melaka (2.0 per cent) and Pahang (3.3 per cent) posted among the lowest unemployment rates in 2021.

On the overall labour force situation, Mohd Uzir said the national labour market had been on the road to recovery with continuous improvement since last January, following the shift of the whole country to the fourth phase of the National Recovery Plan.

“These positive developments may contribute towards the hiring of more employees and creation of new jobs, consequently providing the impetus for economic growth. Therefore, Malaysia’s labour market is foreseen to speed up the recovery momentum in the near future as the economy continues to improve,” he added.