Unemployment rate declining as economy reopens

MALAYSIA: With the reopening of the economy and recovery of the labour market, AmBank Research has found out that the unemployment rate for 2021 is seen to moderately decline, averaging at 4.4% compared with 4.8% in 2020.

Starting In August, the unemployment rate declined to 4.6% from 4.8% in June and July when the country went on a full lockdown for the third time. The research house noted that the number of unemployed decreased to 748,800 due to the reopening of the economy. The number of employed persons in August rose by 81,800 to a record 15.38 million persons.

The report indicated that “With 90% of the adult population vaccinated, we expect the economy to move into the endemic Covid-19 phase by end-October. This will allow more sectors to be reopened with new Covid-19 norms being practised, reinforcing growth and labour market prospects.”

AmBank pointed out that the increases in employment are expected from the food and beverage services, wholesale and retail trade, human health, and social work activities. However, the agriculture, mining, and quarrying sectors remain on a downtrend.

The pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.3% is forecast for 2023.

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