PETALING JAYA,Feb 8: The unemployment rate in the country worsened in December 2020, with statistics showing that it went up from 4.7% in the previous month to 4.8%.

According to the Labour Force Malaysia Report for December 2020 published by the Statistics Department, there were 772,900 who were unemployed in December, up from 764,400 in November.

“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world coupled with a spike in new daily cases in Malaysia, it is foreseen that Malaysia’s labour market will remain challenging in early 2021.

The department added that of the 772,900 who were unemployed, about 83.4% were actively seeking new employment while the rest were classified as “inactively unemployed or discouraged” because they believed there were no jobs available and they were not doing anything about their situation.

The report said the main reason for the growth in unemployment was the impact on all sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the various movement control orders in place.

“The situation has caused many job losses as well as cancellation and freezing of new hires by employers.

“Small scale businesses stagnated, some workers have lost their income while some are facing a reduction in their incomes,” it said, adding that the various assistance and initiatives introduced by the government should cushion the impact of the pandemic on the labour market.

Among the initiatives were the National Economic Recovery Plan, Prihatin, wage subsidy, hiring incentives and training assistance.

The department added, however, that December also recorded an increase in the number of those employed, going up from 15.20 million in November to 15.22 million in December.

Employment rose in the manufacturing sector while the agriculture, mining, quarrying, and construction sectors saw a decrease.

In May 2020, the unemployment rate hit 5%, the highest since 1990.


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