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

Principal Statistics of Labour Force, Malaysia, First Quarter (Q1) 2020

Release Date : Friday 08, May 2020 1200




The highest unemployment rate (3.5%) since second quarter of 2017

Labour force and employed persons in Malaysia recorded a growth of 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent as compared to the first quarter of 2019  to 15.79 million persons and 15.24 million persons respectively.

Quarter-on-quarter comparison showed that labour force increased at the slower rate 0.1 per cent and employed persons decreased 0.1 per cent as compared to the previous quarter. Labour force participation rate (LFPR) in this quarter declined 0.3 percentage points to 68.8 per cent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, the working age population who outside the labour force was 31.2 per cent.

The unemployment rate in this quarter increased to 3.5 per cent as compared to 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to an increase in unemployment rate in March 2020. This high unemployment rate was mainly attributed to the adverse impact of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on the labor market.

The number of unemployed was estimated at 546.6 thousand persons, increased 5.8 per cent as compared to the same quarter last year. The increase in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the negative impacts caused by the MCO. (Exhibit 2)

Female LFPR decreased 0.3 percentage points to 55.8 per cent


Female LFPR in the first quarter of 2020 was 55.8 per cent at the national level, declined 0.3 percentage points as compared to the previous quarter. The highest female LFPR in the labour market were the age group of  25 to 34 years (75.4%) followed by 35 to 44 years (68.4%) and 45 to 54 years (58.5%).

Male LFPR decreased  by 0.3 percentage points to 80.8 per cent as compared to the previous quarter. The age group that recorded the highest male LFPR was 35 to 44 years (97.5%) followed by 25 to 34 years (95.5%) and 45 to 54 years (94.7%). (Exhibit 3)

The employment to population  ratio in Malaysia for male decreased by 0.5 per cent to 78.1 per cent and for female decreased by 0.3 per cent to 53.9 per cent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. (Table 1)




Female represented 39.0 per cent of the labour force

In the first quarter of 2020, the labour force comprised of 61.0 per cent male (9.63 million) and 39.0 per cent female (6.16 million). The number of labour force for male increased by 36,303 persons while female decreased by 12,888 persons as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.


The detailed information and technical notes are published in the Labour Force Survey Report, Malaysia, Second Quarter 2019. This report is accessible and downloadable free of charge through the eStatistik application in DOSM web page, www.dosm.gov.my.




Released By:


8 May 2020

Contact person:


Mohd Yusrizal bin Ab. Razak
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my