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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — The number of jobs created in 2020 decreased by 31,000 jobs to 73,000 from 104,000 jobs created in 2019, reflecting a softer labour demand from businesses in the private sector, said Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin.
He said that preliminary numbers based on the average of quarterly labour force statistics indicated employed persons recorded a marginal increase to 15.10 million persons, while the unemployment figure edged up to 711,000 persons.
“Hence, the unemployment rate spiked to 4.5 per cent against an average rate of three per cent recorded during the pre-crisis period,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Uzir further explained that valued added for 2020 contracted 5.6 per cent as labour productivity per employment decreased by 5.4 per cent to RM88,899 per person.
“Following decline in business operation hours, total hours worked in 2020 reduced to 32.0 billion hours (2019: 35 billion hours), resulting in labour productivity per hour worked increasing 3.4 per cent to RM42 per hour,” he said.
Mohd Uzir added that 2020 had been a tough and unprecedented year, but it had also given industries the opportunity to re-examine business models and venture into new areas.
Some businesses had improved their adoption of digitalisation while others had resorted to flexible working arrangements, he said.
“However, some businesses may find digitalisation more challenging due to the existing operational structure and lack of technical competencies, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The adoption of technology through smart business partnership is one of the mechanism to escalate SMEs’ economies of scale.
“Therefore, it is pertinent to ensure continuous support for SMEs in the adoption of digitalisation towards the creation of more skilled jobs which will cater for the growing number of skilled labour supply,” he said.
On the outlook for this year, he reiterated that Malaysia’s labour market in early 2021 would remain in a challenging situation; hence the need for continuous collaborations of all parties to alleviate the unfavourable circumstance. — Bernama