Labour Force Survey (LFS) is conducted by Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM) every month through household approach to obtain data on the structure of employment and unemployment. This survey covers citizens and non-citizens in urban and rural Malaysia.
The Labour Force Survey Report is an annual publication which presents the principal statistics of the force for population in the working age of 15 to 64 years old by selected demographic and socioeconomic characteristics such as sex, age group, educational attainment, occupation and industry.
LABOUR FORCE IN MALAYSIA 2018 INCREASED 2.0 PER CENT TO NEARLY 15.3 MILLION PERSONS
Labour force in Malaysia increased 2.0 per cent to nearly 15.3 million persons in 2018 as compared to 15.0 million persons in 2017. The increase in labour force was contributed by 299,200 employed persons.
Labour force participation rate rate (LFPR) in 2018 increased 0.3 percentage points to 68.3 per cent as compared to 68.0 per cent in 2017. Hence, the remaining 31.7 per cent of the working age population was outside labour force. The unemployment rate in 2018, on the other hand improved to 3.3 per cent as compared to 3.4 percent in 2017. This shows that the country's economy is still operating full employment that is below 4.0
Female LFPR rose 0.5 percentage points to 55.2 per cent in 2018. The participation of female in the market for the prime age 25–34 (73.6%), 35–44 (67.9%) and 45–54 (58.8%) were higher as compared to female LFPR at the national level1.
The participation of male labour force was 80.4 per cent in 2018 increased 0.3 percentage points as compared to the previous year. The LFPR for age group of 15–24 years recorded the highest increase of 1.2 percentage points to 51.0 per cent. Age group of 35-44 years also recorded an increase 0.3 percentage points to 97.7 per cent. Overall, male LFPR was still higher than female for all age groups.
In 2018, the number of employed persons with tertiary education increased 0.5 percentage points to 28.6 per cent as against 28.1 per cent in the previous year. Meanwhile, employed persons with primary education and secondary education declined 0.4 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points respectively.
Chart 1: Employed persons by educational attainment, Malaysia, 2017 and 2018
In 2018, 48.4 per cent active unemployed persons secured employment in less than three months and 29.3 per cent between three months to less than six months. Meanwhile, 9.7 per cent were active unemployed persons in the period of more than one year.
In 2018, the main reasons for not seeking work among the population outside force were housework/family responsibilities (42.1%) and schooling (41.6%). These groups had the potential to join the market.
Table 2: Population outside force reasons for not seeking work, Malaysia, 2017 and 2018
The detailed information and technical notes are published in the Force Survey Report, Malaysia, 2018. This report is accessible and downloadable through the application in DOSM web page, www.dosm.gov.my.
 The International Organization (ILO) defines prime age as aged 25–54 years.
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, MALAYSIA
30 April 2019
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel: +603-8885 7187 / 7942
Fax: +603-8888 9248