PETALING JAYA: September saw Malaysia’s unemployment rate continue its downward trend after a spike in the middle of the year, ending the month at 4.5%.
It was the second straight month of decline, with the figure tied to May’s unemployment rate for the lowest in the year before the most recent set of nationwide lockdowns.
The continued recovery of the labour force in September also helped the country record an average quarterly unemployment rate of 4.7%, down from 4.8% set in the second quarter.
In a statement, the statistics department’s chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the gradual reopening of the economy had led to the creation of more job opportunities.
“The transition of more states into the next phases of the National Recovery Plan allowed more business activities to resume while business hours have been extended.
“In addition, the permission of interstate travel in the Klang Valley area coupled with the reopening of domestic tourism industries in Terengganu and Pulau Langkawi also fostered more economic activities during the month.”
As of September, the department recorded 15.46 million workers, an increase of around 80,000 newly-employed Malaysians compared with August.
The services and manufacturing sectors saw the biggest increase in recruitment numbers during September, while agriculture and mining industries continued to a see slight decrease in employment figures.
Time-related underemployment was also on the decline in the third quarter, with the number of people working fewer than 30 hours a week down 2% to approximately 474,100 people.
However, the department found that skills-related underemployment, where workers are forced to take jobs for which they are overqualified, had increased slightly by 1.2%, translating to 1.87 million people working beneath their qualification level.-FMT