MALAYSIA: The number of employed persons in the services sector, largely in wholesale and retail trade, food and beverages services, and information and communication industries, contributes to the latest increase in the country’s employment rate.
The latest official data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) showed that the number of employed persons from this sector continued to increase by 87,000 persons (+0.6%) or a total of 15.46 million persons in the third quarter of the year from the 15.38 million persons recorded in August 2021.
Employment in manufacturing and construction sectors also registered a positive change, while agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors remained low.
The employment-to-population ratio, which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment, increased by 0.3 percentage points to 65.5% in September as compared to August 2021 at 65.2%.
Expectedly, the unemployment rate in the third quarter declined to 4.5% from 4.6%. The number of unemployed persons shrank by 2.6% to a record 729.6 thousand persons in total. It was 748.8 thousand persons in August 2021.
The DOSM said the current economic activities will propel the country’s economic recovery process and subsequently contribute to the increase in labour demand resulting in more job opportunities.
As the country entered the various phases of the National Recovery Plan, the government conducted some initiatives to augment the economy.
A total of 322,177 employers and 2.64 million registered employees benefitted from the Wage Subsidy Programme as of 8 October 2021. The program aimed to ensure employees can retain their jobs. Adding to this, under the KITA PRIHATIN Packages, a total of RM1.40 billion (USD333 million) has been distributed to 80,872 employers and 713,076 employees. The Wage Subsidy Programme 3.0 doled out RM3.14 billion (USD746 million) to retain 1.5 million employees. While under the Wage Subsidy Programme 4.0, an allocation of RM3.8 billion (USD903 million) will benefit 2.5 million workers.
As of 8 October 2021, the government distributed a total of RM1.10 billion (USD261 million) to 94,817 employers to continue operating and retain the employment of 1.13 million employees.
In the meantime, as of 1 October 2021, the Hiring Incentive Programme and Training Assistance employed a total of 137,659 individuals mostly in the manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade industries. In addition, 150,908 individuals had been approved to participate in the Reskilling and Upskilling Programme.