Unemployment rate expected to stay at 3.3% next year

In 2020, about 9.5 million people, or 62.1%, will work in the service sector, 16.2% in the manufacturing sector and 12.2% in the agriculture sector.

KUALA LUMPUR: The labour market is anticipated to remain stable by next year and the unemployment rate is expected to stay at 3.3% with more job opportunities in the economy.

According to the Economic Outlook 2020 report released by the finance ministry today, the total number employed is projected to increase to 15.3 million in 2020 in contrast with 15.1 million this year.

Of the total employment in 2020, about 9.5 million people, or 62.1%, will be recruited in the service sector, 16.2% in the manufacturing sector and 12.2% in the agriculture sector.

The report said the government continued to undertake initiatives to reduce further the dependency on low-skilled foreign workers.

“On Jan 2, 2019, a new ‘extension levy’ rate was implemented for foreign workers who have served for 10 years or more in the agriculture and plantation sectors.

“This measure is expected to enable these sectors to move up the value chain while maintaining the number of low-skilled foreign workers to below 15% of total employment,” the report said.

The report also said that the labour market has remained stable during the first half of this year with job vacancies declining 6.9% to 512,504 while the number of job-seekers contracted 1.4% to 237,600 persons, of which 3.7% were new registrants.

Meanwhile, the number of retrenched workers remained low at 20,521 persons, or 0.1% of total employment.

On the other hand, the number of expatriates increased by 12.1% to 122,192, with the majority coming from India (22.7%), followed by China (20.2%) and Japan (6.9%).

They were mainly employed in the services (52.9%), information technology (31.6%) and manufacturing (5.9%) sectors.