LABOUR FORCE IN MALAYSIA
Labour force participation rate 68.0 per cent and unemployment rate 3. 4 per cent
Labour force in Malaysia increased 0.6 per cent to 15.09 million persons in the fourth quarter 2017 as compared to 15.00 million persons in the previous quarter. The rise was contributed by the increase of 0.7 per cent or 96,500 employed persons to 14.58 million persons.
Labour force participation rate (LFPR) in the fourth quarter 2017 was 68.0 per cent, rose 0.1 percentage point as compared to the third quarter 2017. Hence, another 32.0 per cent of the working age population were outside the labour force. Meanwhile, unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4 per cent for three consecutive quarters.
Year-on-year, the number of persons in labour force and employed persons rose 2.1 and 2.2 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed persons decreased 0.6 per cent and year-on-year unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point. Year-on-year performance of labour force participation rate in the labour market also improved 0.4 percentage points.
The scenario of unemployment rate below 4.0 per cent indicates that the country's economy is operating in full employment1.
Female LFPR increased 0.2 percentage point to 54.8 per cent
Female LFPR rose 0.2 percentage points to 54.8 per cent in the fourth quarter 2017. Female participation rate in the labour market for prime age2 25–34 years (72.5%), 35–44 years (67.4%) and 45–54 years (59.2%) were higher against female LFPR at the national level (54.8%). [Chart 2]
Male LFPR remained at 80.1 per cent in the fourth quarter 2017. Male participation rate in the labour market for age group 15–24 and 25–34 years recorded an increase of 1.6 and 0.4 percentage points to 50.6 and 96.8 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, the other age groups registered a decreasing trend. Overall, male LFPRs remained consistently higher than female for all age groups.
Female represented 38 per cent of the labour force
In the fourth quarter 2017, there was 38.5 per cent females in the labour market, an increase of 0.1 percentage point or 52,500 persons to 5.81 million persons as compared to the last quater.
 The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines full employment as unemployment rate below 4.0 per cent.
 International Labour Organization (ILO) defines prime age as population aged 25–54 years.
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, MALAYSIA
9 February 2018
Ho Mei Kei
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : mkho[at]stats.gov.my