Malaysia’s unemployment rate rises to 5.3% in May

The Department of Statistics says the number of unemployed individuals went up by 47,300 to 826,100 in May. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in May from 5% in April, the Department of Statistics Malaysia said.

Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of unemployed individuals went up by 47,300 to 826,100.

However, he said the monthly change of unemployed persons in May was much lower than the change of 168,300 registered from March to April.

“The reduction could partly be due to the numerous stimulus packages reaching their intended target in addition to more businesses allowed to operate following the conditional movement control order (MCO) during the month,” he said in a statement today.

Uzir said the number of employed persons who were temporarily not working had reduced more than half to 2.27 million in May compared to 4.87 million in April.

“This group of people, who were most likely not able to work from home, was not categorised as unemployed as they had work to return to,” he said.

Of the total labour force in May, he said, employed persons recorded a marginal decline of 0.3% to 14.89 million.

In line with this, the employment-to-population ratio, which provides information on the ability of an economy to create employment, dropped further by 0.4% to 64.4%.

Those affected were in the services sector, mainly related to tourism, accommodation, events planning, arts and entertainment, and sports and recreation.

Uzir said own-account workers continued to decrease since March. In May, the group accounted for 2.42 million persons, a drop of 161,500 compared to the previous month.

“Most are daily wage earners working in farmers’ markets, night markets and stalls, freelancers as well as smallholders.

“As the conditional MCO still restricts their business operations, this group of workers may continue to be at high risk of job and income losses,” he said.

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