KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 — The country’s labour market has continued to recover as planned by the government, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He pointed out that according to the latest employment statistics, the labour market was stable in August, with a slight improvement in the number of unemployed individuals which fell by 3,500 month-on-month to 741,400.
However, the unemployment rate remained at 4.7 per cent in August as the decline in the number of unemployed people was marginal, he said.
Mustapa said a recovery trend was observed over three consecutive months, with the highest unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent in May falling to 4.9 per cent in June.
According to him, the recovery in August was supported by the resumption of more business operations following the start of the Recovery Movement Control Order on June 10 as well as the gradual reopening of the education sector.
Mustapa said unemployment rate among youths aged 15 to 30 also registered an encouraging drop, slipping below nine per cent to 8.9 per cent for the first time in months to 502,300.
The youth unemployment rate had been above nine per cent from April to July this year, with 544,500 youths being unemployed in July.
“The statistics clearly show that the country’s economy is recovering due to the various efforts and initiatives launched by the government, along with the support of many parties, including the industry and the public.
“While the labour market is improving as planned, the government is aware and concerned that the monthly unemployment number remains high compared to the average 494,000 people for the 2016-2019 period,” Mustapa said.
He said the rising trend of new COVID-19 cases could potentially pose a challenge for people to enter the job market.
Therefore, he said, the government would continue to focus on expediting the country’s economic recovery so that more job opportunities could be created and more unemployed individuals could go to work, thus driving Malaysia to regain full employment.
“The government understands that the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) currently enforced in Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya has created concern among the people, especially in terms of its effect on the economy and their livelihood.
“I would like to stress again that protecting people’s lives and livelihoods are equally important and have to be balanced.
“This is why under the CMCO being implemented, the economic sectors are allowed to operate as usual albeit by following strict standard operating procedures that have been or will be set by the National Security Council,” Mustapa added.