Malaysia’s unemployment rate may go up to 5.5pc this year, says chief statistician

The Kuala Lumpur skyline at sunset, on June 6, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
The Kuala Lumpur skyline at sunset, on June 6, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — The country is projected to record an unemployment rate of between 3.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent this year due to the impact from Covid-19, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr 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 curb the unemployment rate. Hence, we are forecasting a maximum unemployment rate ranging from 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent for this year,” he told an online media conference here today.

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

Mohd 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 Employment Statistics, First Quarter 2020 publication based on a quarterly labour demand survey conducted on formal private sector establishments. — Bernama

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