KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The country’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend at 4.5 per cent in September 2021, registering 729,600 unemployed persons, said Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin.

He said the labour force situation had improved further as employment continued to increase while the unemployment rate was on a declining trend.

“The transition of more states into the next phases of National Recovery Plan (PPN) has allowed more business activities to resume while business hours have been extended.

“In addition, the permission of inter-states travelling in the Klang Valley area coupled with the reopening of domestic tourism industries in Terengganu and Langkawi also fostered more economic activities during the month.

“All these positive circumstances have reinforced the labour market to regain its momentum,” he said in the Statistics of Labour Force, Malaysia, September 2021 Report released today.

Mohd Uzir said employed persons in the services sector continued to record an increase, largely in wholesale and retail trade; food and beverages services; as well as information and communication activities.

Employment in the manufacturing and construction sectors also registered a positive change, while agriculture and mining, as well as quarrying sectors, continued to decline.

Commenting further, Mohd Uzir said the actively unemployed or those who were available for work and were actively seeking jobs comprised 83.7 per cent of the total unemployed persons. (This group was lessened by 2.6 per cent to record 611.0 thousand persons (August 2021: 627.5 thousand persons).

“The continuous dynamic economy activities will accelerate the recovery process of the business and subsequently attribute to the increase in labour demand resulting in the creation of more job opportunities.

“The country’s economy is most likely to pick up in the upcoming months indicated by better performance of the leading index,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said among the states that recorded a decline in the unemployment rate were Putrajaya with 1 per cent, followed by Melaka (3 per cent), Selangor (3.6 per cent), Negri Sembilan (3.7 per cent) and Penang (3.7 per cent).

In the meantime, he said there were nine states that recorded an increase in labour force participation (LFPR), indicating more labour participation in the economy.

He said Selangor recorded the highest LFPR at 74.7 per cent, followed by Kuala Lumpur (73.6 per cent), Penang (70.7 per cent), Putrajaya (70.2 per cent) and Sarawak (69.7 per cent). — Bernama