Chief Statistician: Economy on upswing, labour market to expand further in coming months

Malaysia’s transition from Covid-19 pandemic to the endemic phase since April 1, and the reopening of borders, have stimulated the nation’s economy.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Uzir Mahidin said the labour force in the first quarter of the year (Q1, 2022) increased by 0.7 per cent (111,100 individuals) quarter-on-quarter, to record 16.25 million people with jobs. He foresees the labour market will expand further in the months to come.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia, in a statement this afternoon, revealed that the labour force participation rate (LFPR) in the country increased to 69 per cent, registering male and female LFPR at 81.5 per cent, and 55.6 per cent, respectively.

During Q1 2022, the number of employed persons rose by 0.9 per cent to 15.57 million individuals. The increase was evident in the services and manufacturing sectors. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, declined to 4.1 per cent (671,200 people).

“The transition phase (from Covid-19 pandemic) to endemic, as well as the easing of several restrictions, including the reopening of the country’s borders, are seen to further stimulate the country’s economy,” said Uzir.

“In addition, economic activities are observed to be recovering, especially for the tourism industry, thus allowing more demand for labour to ensure the operations of business activities run smoothly.”

The highest LFPR was registered by Selangor (75.1 per cent), followed by Kuala Lumpur (74.5 per cent), and Penang (71.1 per cent).

Uzir noted that on-going international crises, including the Russia-Ukraine war, had disrupted the global supply chain.

“However, it may have a minimal direct impact on Malaysia’s trade. Therefore, overall, the national economy, as well as the labour market, will expand further in the coming months, as more positive signs of the economy are being indicated,” he added.

Many Malaysians were left jobless at the height of the pandemic, and many businesses were forced to shutter due to various restrictions enforced to curb the virus from spreading.

The reopening of nightclubs on May 15 will see the end of restrictions on businesses in Malaysia, as that is the only industry, to date, that remains on the negative list. This will also mark the return of local and international deejays, although it remains unclear if dancing will be allowed in such premises.

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