Unemployment rate jumps to 5% in April 2020

The number of unemployed persons in Malaysia has increased by 48.8% to 778,800 in April 2020 alone, bringing the unemployment rate up to 5%, the highest it has been since 1990.

“The unemployment rate spiked to 5% as the number of unemployed persons went up 48.8% compared to a year ago to 778,800 persons. The closure of operations for most businesses during the movement control order (MCO) which has been extended through April 2020 has affected loss of employment and job seekers could hardly find jobs,” said Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician of Malaysia, in a statement today.

The numbers were published in a Department of Statistics newsletter on the statistics of the labour force for 2020. It reported that in April, the working population had decreased by 156,400 people, about 1%, year-on-year. The most affected were in the manufacturing and services sectors, namely accommodation and food & beverage, arts, entertainment & recreation, and other services such as beauty centres and salons.

“Overall, all sectors of the economy were affected during Phase 2 and 3 of the MCO, especially for the non-essential services. Malaysia’s labour market in May 2020 is expected to be further affected following the conditional MCO which started May 5, as businesses were still not fully in operation,” said Mohd Uzir, adding that companies will have the tendency to reduce their employees to ease the burden of operating costs.

He also believes that the recovery MCO, which started June 10, will spur businesses and mark improvements for the job market, especially in the travel and tourism-related industries, due to the reactivation of businesses for more sectors and the lifting of interstate travel restrictions. – June 15, 2020

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