Employment rate ‘full’ based on OECD definition, PM tells Parliament

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur July 11, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur July 11, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Malaysia is considered to have a full employment rate based on the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today — notwithstanding data showing nationwide joblessness at 3.3 per cent.

The prime minister told the Dewan Rakyat that the 3.3 per cent total unemployment rate and the 10.9 per cent unemployment rate among youths last year is still within OECD standards where 4 per cent unemployment rate is the equivalent of full employment rate.

“The rate of unemployment among youths aged between 15 and 24 is a normal phenomenon faced by developing and developed countries in the world.

“This category is considered to be in the transition period from schools to the reality of working life,” Dr Mahathir replied a query by Kalabakan MP Ma’mun Sulaiman during Question Time.

He noted that youths must also strive to improve their skill-set in order to make themselves more attractive to employers, observed Dr Mahathir.

Contributing factors to youth unemployment include inexperience, jobs and skills that do not match or lack of education.

The government has also set up online job matching portal JobsMalaysia, one stop centres and programmes such as Graduates Enhancement Programme for Employability (Generate) and Structured Internship Programme to help youths land jobs.

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