Unemployment rate may go up to 5.5% this year, says chief statistician

The government has implemented measures to balance the job needs, including for new graduates, who number between 300,000 and 350,000 annually.

KUALA LUMPUR: The country is projected to record an unemployment rate of between 3.5% and 5.5% this year due to the impact from Covid-19, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said.

Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the government’s move to partially reopen the economy during the movement control order period and the Prihatin Rakyat economic stimulus package would, however, assist workers and households in facing the critical situation induced by the coronavirus.

“Based on the government’s (economic reopening) announcement, we wish for a quick resumption of the economy. This is because when the economy starts moving again, there would be financial transactions that enable the economy to improve rapidly.

”This will create jobs and reduce the unemployment rate,” he told an online media conference here today.

Last week, DOSM revealed that unemployment in March rose by 17.1% year-on-year to 610,000 people, for a jobless rate of 3.9%.

Uzir said the job demand and vacancy status for the first quarter gave an early signal of an imbalance in the labour market.

“However, it must be noted that the government has implemented measures to balance the job needs, including for new graduates, who number between 300,000 and 350,000 annually,” he added.

The media conference was held in conjunction with the publication of the First Quarter 2020 Employment Statistics, based on a quarterly labour demand survey conducted on formal private sector establishments.

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