Thursday, June 27

Domestic labour market solid — Analysts

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Malaysia’s labour market remains strong, with employment growth improving to 2.5 per cent y-o-y to 14.9 million in November 2018, compared with 2.4 per cent y-o-y in October 2018, while jobs added in the economy was at 4,200. — Reuters photo

KUCHING: Malaysia’s labour market remains strong, despite easing 0.1 percentage point to 68.4 per cent in November compared with the previous month, analysts say.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), the labour force participation rate in November 2018 eased 0.1 percentage point to 68.4 per cent compared with the previous month.

In a statement yesterday, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, the labour force participation rate increased 0.5 percentage point from 67.9 per cent previously.

“The labour force numbers for this month rose 2.5 per cent y-o-y to 15.46 million persons. Employed persons also increased 2.5 per cent y-o-y to 14.94 million,” he added.

He said that the unemployment rate in November remained at 3.3 per cent, while the number of unemployed persons increased 2.2 per cent year-on-year.

In a report, the research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) opined that the labour market remains strong, with employment growth improving to 2.5 per cent y-o-y to 14.9 million in November 2018, compared with 2.4 per cent y-o-y in October 2018, while jobs added in the economy was at 4,200 (10,600 in October 2018).

It pointed out that unemployment rate remained at 3.3 per cent but rose to 3.4 per cent for seasonally adjusted figures.

It said, the number of unemployed increased 2.2 per centyoy in November 2018, highest since January 2017.

Nevertheless, the research house said, growths in both labour force and employment have been outpacing unemployment growth for the last 21-month since March 2017.

“We expect further improvement in job opportunities in the manufacturing sector amid global demand remains intact especially with receding trade war fear effects.

“Looking forward, job vacancies are expected to gradually improve to 90,000 to 100,000 as the country gained confidence and stability over time from the new government and economy’s outlook of the new Budget 2019,” it opined.

All in, MIDF Research said, for the first eleven months of 2018, unemployment rate is averaged at 3.3 per cent which is within its expectations.

“We opine that the unemployment rate will continue being under a full-employment condition of 3.3 per cent in 2019.

“Moving forward, we anticipate domestic economic activities will stay on upward trajectory given that business confidence remains upbeat.

“In addition, we observed global indicators from developed and emerging economies are still signalling positive cues that global demand to remain on high side,” it opined.

Nevertheless, it pointed out that concerns still persist on the potential trade war gyrations.

“We forecast Malaysia’s job market to continue benefiting from the resilience global trade activities and gradual recovery in commodity prices especially in export-reliance and commodity-oriented industries,” MIDF Research added.