KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): Malaysia's unemployment rate dipped to 3.9% in April 2022 from 4.1% a month earlier due to the increase in the country's employment numbers while the unemployment figure declined as economic activities flourished due to the reopening of the country's borders in tandem with its transition to the Covid-19 endemic phase on April 1, 2022 from pandemic previously, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) on Thursday (June 9, 2022).
At 3.9%, Malaysia's April 2022 unemployment rate dipped below 4% for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak which began in early 2020, according to the DoSM.
"Economic activities continued to flourish as Malaysia reopened the international borders at the beginning of the month. Thus, the labour force condition in April 2022 strengthened further with a surge of 0.4% month-on-month to 16.50 million persons (March 2022: 16.44 million persons)," DoSM chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement.
"Accordingly, the labour force participation rate edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 69.4% (March 2022: 69.2%), indicating more labour participation in the market. The encouraging situation was due to the continuous increase in employment while the unemployment remained on a declining trend," Mohd Uzir said.
According to him, Malaysia’s number of employed persons increased to 15.85 million in April 2022 from 15.77 million a month earlier, while the number of unemployed individuals decreased to 649,300 from 669,200.
"Hence, the unemployment rate declined to below 4% for the first time to record 3.9% (March 2022: 4.1%) after two years of Covid-19 pandemic in the country,” he said.
Malaysia’s unemployment rate of 3.9% in April 2022 is derived from dividing the number of unemployed individuals at 649,300 by the country’s 16.5 million-people labour force, according to the DoSM’s statement.
Looking ahead, Mohd Uzir said a more positive economic outlook is observed as the country transitions to the Covid-19 endemic phase.
The increase in employers’ applications for non-citizen employment following the reopening of the country's borders is anticipated to be able to ease the labour shortage issue, especially in the construction and agriculture sectors and subsequently further stimulate the country’s labour market, according to him.
Furthermore, the inflow of international tourists into Malaysia could also contribute to the revival of the tourism industry, particularly in the accommodation sub-sector, he said.
"Besides the negativity of the depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit against the US dollar towards the economy, it may initiate a positive impact on the tourism sector in terms of lower cost for tourists and it will make the country as a preferred holiday destination.
"Tourists spending also may facilitate small businesses to rebound after a two-year period of difficulties due to the pandemic. This situation is seen to open up more job opportunities since business activities require more workers to accommodate to the growing demand for goods and services. Thus, the labour market is foreseen to be able to sustain its resiliency in the months to come,” he said.