↑ Top
In 2018, 416.8 thousand teachers in Government & Government-aided Schools

Principal Statistics of Labour Force, Malaysia, Third Quarter (Q3) 2017

Release Date : Thursday 09, November 2017 1200




Labour force participation rate 67. 9 per cent and unemployment rate 3. 4 per cent

Labour force in Malaysia increased 0.5 per cent to 15.00 million persons in third quarter 2017 compared to 14.93 million persons in the previous quarter. The rise was contributed by the increase of 69,200 employed persons to 14.48 million persons as well as the increase of 4,600 unemployed persons to 516.2 thousand persons.

Labour force participation rate (LFPR) in third quarter 2017 was 67.9 per cent, rose 0.2 percentage point compared to second quarter 2017. Hence, another 32.1 per cent of the working age population were outside the labour force. Meanwhile, unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4 per cent for two consecutive quarters.

Year-on-year, the number of labour force and employed persons rose 2.0 per cent respectively. Even though the number of unemployed persons increased 1.5 per cent, year-on-year unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point. Year-on-year performance of participation in the labour market also improved 0.3 percentage point.

The scenario of unemployment rate below 4.0 per cent shows that the country's economy is operating in full employment1.


Female LFPR increased 0.4 percentage point to 54.6 per cent

Female LFPR rose 0.4 percentage point to 54.6 per cent in third quarter 2017. Female participation in the labour market for prime age2 25–34 years (73.2%), 35–44 years (67.5%) and 45–54 years (57.1%) were higher against female LFPR at the national level (54.6%). [Chart 2]

Participation of male labour force rose 0.1 percentage point to 80.1 per cent in third quarter 2017. Male participation in the labour market for age group 55–64 years recorded the highest increase of 2.6 percentage point to 67.2 per cent. Meanwhile, age group 45–54 years registered an increase of 1.3 percentage point. Overall, male LFPRs remained consistently higher than female for all age groups.

Year-on-year, the increase of labour force participation in Malaysia (0.3 percentage point) was contributed by the increase of female labour force participation of 0.4 percentage point.


Female represented 38.4 per cent of the labour force

In third quarter 2017, 38.4 per cent females were in the labour market with an increase of 0.1 percentage point (37,900 persons) to 5.76 million persons compared to 5.72 million persons in second quarter 2017.



[1] The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines full employment as unemployment rate below 4.0 per cent.

[2]  International Labour Organization (ILO) defines prime age as population aged 25–54 years.


For more analysis 


Released By:


9 November 2017

Contact person:

Ho Mei Kei
Public Relation Officer
Corporate and User Services Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : mkho[at]stats.gov.my