In the second quarter of 2021, the daily new cases of COVID-19 increased significantly from about 1,000 in early April to about 5,000 at the end of June. In the beginning, most states were in the Recovery Movement Control (RMCO), except for the largely populated including Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pulau Pinang which were in Conditional MCO (CMCO). During this period, the monthly labour force indicators also showed an optimistic view, following Ramadhan and an expected festive season of Eid Al-Fitr. This was also because most economic activities resumed with observance to the strict standard operating procedures (SOP). However, towards the middle of May, a nationwide MCO was implemented, followed by a full lockdown throughout June. As the SOP began to be tightened and only essential services were allowed during the full lockdown, it has impacted the economy and consequently the labour market.
LOWER LFPR RECORDED AT 68.3 PER CENT IN Q2 2021
In the second quarter of 2021, labour force dropped 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter or equivalent to 36.1 thousand persons to record 15.97 million (Q1 2021: 16.01 million persons). Accordingly, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) showed a decline during the quarter with a reduction of 0.3 percentage points to record 68.3 per cent (Q1 2021: 68.6%).
The employment-to-population ratio which indicates the ability of an economy to create employment fell to 65.0 per cent (Q1 2021: 65.3%). Meanwhile, outside labour force registered a hike of 109.6 thousand persons to 7.43 million persons. [Exhibit 1]
Year-on-year comparison, labour force registered an addition of 286.7 thousand persons (Q2 2020: 15.68 million persons) while LFPR went up by 0.2 percentage points from 68.1 per cent (Q2 2020).
Exhibit 1: Principal Statistics of Labour Force, Malaysia, Second Quarter (Q2) 2020,First Quarter (Q1) 2021 & Second Quarter (Q2) 2021
EMPLOYED PERSON RECORDED A MARGINAL DECREASE OF 0.2 PER CENT
Employed person in the second quarter of 2021 declined 0.2 per cent or equivalent to 29.2 thousand persons recording 15.21 million persons (Q1 2021: 15.24 million persons). There were 9.29 million male employed persons which comprised of 61.1 per cent whereas female accounted for 38.9 per cent with 5.92 million persons. The largest composition of employed persons was aged between 25 to 34 (33.6%) while youth aged 15 to 24 contributed 14.9 per cent.
By educational attainment, majority of the employed persons were those who attained secondary education with a share of 52.5 per cent (7.99 million persons). The share decreased by 1.5 percentage points as compared to previous quarter (Q1 2021: 54.0%, 8.23 million persons). In contrast, share of employed persons with tertiary education improved by 1.9 percentage points to 34.8 percent recorded 5.29 million persons (Q1 2021: 32.9%, 5.01 million persons). [Chart 1]
Chart 1: Employed Person by Educational Attainment, Malaysia, First Quarter (Q1) 2021 and Second Quarter (Q2) 2021, ('000)
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE REMAINED AT 4.8 PER CENT IN Q2 2021
The unemployment rate during Q2 2021 remained at 4.8 per cent for three consecutive quarters since Q4 2020 with a decrease of 7 thousand persons to record 764.9 thousand unemployed persons. (Q1 2021: 771.8 thousand persons). As compared to the same quarter of preceding year, the unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points from 5.1 per cent in Q2 2020.
Among the unemployed persons, 86.7 per cent (663.4 thousand persons) were actively unemployed, increased 3.8 percentage points from 82.9 per cent in Q1 2021. The number of inactively unemployed or discouraged group who thought there would be no work available declined by 30.2 thousand persons to 101.6 thousand persons in Q2 2021 (Q1 2021: 131.7 thousand persons). [Chart 2]
Chart 2: Unemployment Category, Malaysia, First Quarter (Q1) 2021 and Second Quarter (Q2) 2021, (‘000)
OUTSIDE LABOUR FARCE
FEMALE COMPRISED THE LARGEST COMPOSITION OF OUTSIDE LABOUR FORCE
In this quarter, the number of persons outside labour force rose 1.5 per cent (+109.6 thousand persons) quarter-on-quarter recording 7.43 million persons (Q1 2021: 7.32 million persons). More than half of persons outside labour force are female population, constituted 68.8 per cent or equivalent to 5.11 million persons. Meanwhile male population accounted for 31.2 per cent or equivalent to 2.32 million persons. [Chart 3]
Chart 3: Population of outside labour force by sex, Malaysia, First Quarter (Q1) 2021 and Second Quarter (Q2) 2021, (‘000)
The detailed information and technical notes are published in the Labour Force Survey Report, Malaysia, First Quarter 2021. This report is accessible and downloadable free of charge through the eStatistik application in DOSM web page, www.dosm.gov.my.
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, MALAYSIA
9 August 2021
Mohd Yusrizal bin Ab. Razak
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
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