Statistics Dept: 2.54 million workers in informal sector last year

Mohd Uzir said almost two-thirds of the employment in the informal sector are concentrated in the services sector. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Mohd Uzir said almost two-thirds of the employment in the informal sector are concentrated in the services sector. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, July 23 — There were 2.54 million persons in the informal employment last year, comprising 1.26 million in the informal sector and the rest in the formal sector of enterprises and households, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported today.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the contribution of employment in the informal sector was 8.3 per cent in 2019.

Employment in the informal sector decreased 4.9 per cent in 2019 (1.26 million) compared to 1.39 million in 2017, he said in a statement in conjunction with the release of Informal Sector Workforce Survey Report, Malaysia, 2019 today.

He said men working in the informal sector decreased by 9.3 per cent per annum to 707,200 persons in 2019 or 56.3 per cent compared with 43.7 per cent or 548,900 of females employed in the informal sector.

Based on the perspective of the informal sector by employment status, the DOSM reported that 71.7 per cent or 900,800 persons were in the Own account worker category and 17.1 per cent or 215,300 persons were in the Employees category.

Employees in this sector are those who work as a housebuilder, babysitter, food hawker, baker, grass cutter, labourer, construction (building work), street stall salesperson, dressmaker, market salesperson, food delivery and physical fitness instructor.

"Internet salesperson and tuition teacher are among the jobs that are starting to show an increase in the informal sector in 2019," said Mohd Uzir.

He said almost two-thirds of the employment in the informal sector are concentrated in the services sector which accounted for 64.6 per cent, followed by construction (18.9 per cent) and manufacturing (16 per cent).

According to him, wholesale and retail trade activities such as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles dominated the services sector with a contribution of 20.9 per cent followed by accommodation and food and beverage services which accounted for 17.8 per cent.

"For the construction sector, most of the activities are in residential construction," he said.

Majority of the employment in the informal sector according to him, operates at home (38.7 per cent), followed by no fixed location or mobile (35 per cent), markets or street stalls (19.4 per cent) and factory or office or workshop (6.9 per cent).

The employment in the informal sector in the urban areas recorded negative growth of 9.3 per cent to 944,700 persons in 2019 compared to 1.14 million in 2017, while employment in the informal sector in the rural areas registered a positive growth of 11.3 per cent to 311,500 persons in the same period.

The survey also showed that 76.3 per cent of those employed in the informal sector were those with Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia certificates and below, an increase of 0.4 percentage points compared to 75.9 per cent in 2017.

Mohd Uzir said the employment statistics of the informal sector in 2019 were not affected by the negative impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama

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