,Tight restrictions were put in place to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, including lockdowns.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded an increase in the unemployment rate in June this year due to the impact of the tighter restrictions to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest data by the Statistics Department showed June unemployment rose by 4.8% to 768,700 from 4.5% in May after four consecutive months of decreases.
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said year-on-year, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point as compared to 4.9% in June 2020.
The number of unemployed persons declined by 4,600 from June last year’s 773,200.
“Hence, the number of employed persons in June 2021 declined by 0.5% to record 15.30 million persons (May 2021: 15.37 million persons) while employment-to-population ratio fell by 0.4 percentage points to 65.0 per cent.
“Subsequently, the unemployment rate climbed to 4.8% (May 2021: 4.5%),” he said.
Commenting on the June labour data, Mohd Uzir said it was a challenging labour force situation as the country continued to take steps to flatten the surge of Covid-19 cases.
The rise in new daily cases has resulted in the implementation of Full Movement Control Order (MCO) during the month whereby only essential economy and services sectors were permitted to operate.
They were business activities related to food & beverages, utilities, security, health & medical care, transportation, banking, communications and essential construction activities.
Small businesses such as food or beverage stalls or hawkers were also allowed to operate during this period.
“Hence, the number of employed persons in June 2021 declined by 0.5% to record 15.30 million persons (May 2021: 15.37 million persons) with employment-to-population ratio fell by 0.4 percentage points to 65%.
Mohd Uzir said the number of unemployed persons increased by 40,600 persons (+5.6%) to 768,700 (May 2021: 728,100).
Year-on-year, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point as compared to 4.9% pin June 2020 while the number of unemployed persons reduced by 4,600 persons (June 2020: 773,200 persons).
He pointed out that also some members of the labour force had moved into inactivity which led the number of labour force declining to 16.07 million persons versus 16.10 million persons in May 2021.
“This was the first decrease of labour force recorded since April 2020 when the pandemic hit the country. Accordingly, lower labour force participation rate (LFPR) was registered at 68.3 per cent (May 2021: 68.5%),” he said.
Employed persons by economic sector in June 2021 showed that all sectors registered declines in employment with Services sector posted month-on-month decreases for the first time after twelve months of increases.
The reduction in services sector was largely in accommodation and food & beverages services; Real estate; and wholesale & retail trade activities.