Unemployment rate for 2017 not expected to exceed 3.5%


SHAH ALAM: Malaysia’s unemployment rate is manageable and not expected to exceed 3.5% this year amid the global economic slowdown, Human Resources Minister Richard Riot said.

Riot said Malaysia had always been among countries with low unemployment rates, averaging 3.1%.

“In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) benchmark, anything less than 4% is still regarded as full employment.

“The government has lined up an economic agenda which is expected to produce 1.5 million jobs by 2020 under the 11th Malaysia Plan,” he added.

He said this at a press conference here today after presenting Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) the accreditation as a one-stop centre for the National Dual Training System (SLDN) programme.

The ministry, together with the Department of Skills Development, awarded Proton the accreditation for automotive skills training.

Riot said Malaysia should still be regarded as a country with full employment.

“I believe if the average unemployment rate of 3.1% goes up, it will not likely exceed 3.5%.

“Besides, the government’s economic agenda is to produce more new jobs and skilled workers, and the small and medium enterprises are currently still employing a lot of people.

“I believe with projects such as the Petronas Pengerang Integrated Complex and Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, the unemployment rate in Malaysia is not going to exceed 3.5%,” he added.

The latest key statistics for the labour force in Malaysia showed the unemployment rate in November 2016 was at 3.4%. The labour force increased 0.4% to 14.83 million compared to the previous month.