Labor force survey conducted by the government showed that the unemployment rate for 2020 rise to a record level of 4.5% due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“The unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in 2020, the highest rate recorded since 1993 (4.1%),” chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin (pic below) said in a press statement yesterday.
The Statistics Department said the health crisis had a huge impact on the labor force which led to the unemployment rate moving above 4% compared to an average of 3% pre-Covid-19 pandemic.
Compared to the previous quarter, the fourth quarter 2020 showed that the number of the unemployed rate increased 0.1 percentage point from 4.7%.
In December 2020, unemployment rose to 772,900 persons at an unemployment rate of 4.8%.
The labor market condition in December 2020 which was still influenced by the health crisis and economic consequences has caused slower recovery momentum in the labor market, the Statistics Department said.
“In the fourth quarter of 2020, there were 533,7000 persons who worked less than 30 hours per week due to working conditions or insufficient work compared to the third quarter at 403,800 persons.
Out of this total, 369,100 persons were categorized as time-related underemployment since they worked less than 30hrs a week and were able and willing to work extra hours from the 3Q at 300,800 persons,” Uzir Mahidin said.
He said that this category of people comprised 2.4% of the overall employment in the fourth quarter of last year.
“In the meantime, skill-related underemployment which comprises of those with tertiary education but working in semi-skilled and low-skilled occupations accounted for 1.89 million persons or 37.4% of the total of employed persons with tertiary education which is an increase from the third quarter of 1.76 million persons or 36.8%,” he said.