The country’s unemployment rate rose to its highest point this year to reach 5.3 per cent in May, with the number of jobless Malaysians also reaching a high of 826,100 that month, the latest official statistics has shown.
In the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DOSM) release of the May 2020 unemployment figures, the situation had further worsened since joblessness reached 5.0 per cent in April.
The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the unemployed population in the labour force, with the labour force being those aged 15 to 64 and are either employed or unemployed.
DOSM figures also showed the number of unemployed persons growing from 610,500 in March (which was the month the movement control order period first started) to 778,800 in April which was an increase of 168,300 persons, before going up by 47,300 persons to 826,100 persons in May.
Compared year on year to May 2019’s 519,800 unemployed persons, the number of unemployed persons in May 2020 grew by a whopping 306,300 persons.
Noting the smaller growth in actual numbers of unemployed persons in Malaysia between the months of April and May (an increase by 47,300) and between the earlier months of March and April (a bigger increase by 168,300), Malaysia’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin suggested that the government’s economic stimulus packages could have contributed to the lower growth in May 2020.
“The reduction could partly be due to the implementation of numerous stimulus packages reaching its intended target in addition to more businesses were allowed to operate following the conditional movement control order (CMCO) during the month,” he said in a statement today, referring to the May 2020 figures.
Outlook for rest of 2020
But as a whole, Malaysia’s chief statistician Mohd Uzir expressed an optimistic view of the country’s labour market conditions in the coming months.
He pointed out that the labour supply conditions had improved considerably when compared to April despite a continuous negative trend up to May, also highlighting that the improved economic indicators in May when compared to April was a signal that the economy was gradually improving.
“It is expected that as the recovery MCO took effect on 10th June onwards, the business conditions would gradually recover as more sectors are allowed to open with strict standard operating procedures. The implementation may allow businesses to regain their momentum, while new business opportunities emerge as demand changes amid the new norm. This in turn is expected to retain employment, create new jobs and spur hiring.
“With this development, in the short term, labour force situation in June is expected to improve slightly, while in the medium term up to the second half of 2020, further progress is deemed possible. Through various initiatives by the government, in addition to new creative business models innovated, the labour market may find its way to a recovery path,” he said in the same statement.
source: Malay Mail