Jobs in the economy fell in Q2 due to movement brakes


KUALA LUMPUR: Total number of jobs in the economic sector decreased in the second quarter (2Q21) compared to a year ago and quarter on quarter as labor demand was affected by the protracted health crisis and the containment measures imposed since March 2020.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri, Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, said on Thursday that the total number of jobs in the economic sector fell 0.4% to 8.35 million in the second quarter (Q1 2021: -1.7 %) against 8.38 million jobs recorded a year ago.

He also said that the number of jobs created in 2Q20 was the lowest on record since the start of the series in 2015, as most jobs by skill category were in the semi-skilled category.

“Compared to the previous quarter, the total number of jobs fell further by 0.9% (1Q21: -0.4%) indicating an uneven recovery dynamic in labor demand following the impact the prolonged health crisis and the containment measures imposed since March 2020, “he said.

These statistics are published in the Employment Statistics Report for 2Q, based on the employment survey conducted among registered companies in the private sector.

The report presents statistics on labor demand, encompassing jobs, jobs filled, vacancies and jobs created by skill category and economic activity.

Mohd Uzir said that with the increase in daily new cases of Covid-19 during this quarter, strict containment measures have been implemented since mid-May, which has limited opening hours and allowed only essential services to function.

These then translated into a drop of 0.5% to 8.17 million jobs in 2Q21 (2Q20: 8.21 million).

During this quarter, the number of jobs in the economic sector was 178,000, an increase of 5% due to the low base number recorded in 2Q20 (169,500).

The number of vacancies remained below an average of 200,000 vacancies recorded during the pre-crisis period.

“The rates of filled and vacant positions during the quarter remained at 97.9% and 2.1%, respectively,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said almost all sectors showed a downward trend except for the manufacturing sector which saw an increase of 0.9% (1Q21: -0.1%) to register 2.16 million. jobs.

More than half of the jobs filled were concentrated in the service sector (52.4%), followed by manufacturing (26.4%) and construction (14.9%). The remaining 6.3% were in the agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors.

From the point of view of the skill category, the jobs filled for the semi-skilled (-0.4%) and low-skilled (-2.0%) professional categories decreased while the skilled jobs (0.1%) increased slightly compared to 2Q20.

“In terms of composition by skill category, more than half was a semi-skilled category with a share of 62.4% (5.1 million) while the qualified category represented 24.7% (2.0 million) “, he added.

He said most of the vacancies were in the manufacturing sector with 100,100 vacancies (56.2%), mainly in the electrical, electronic and optical products subsector (31,600); and followed by petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (18,800).

As for agriculture, there were 29,200 vacant positions (16.4%), mainly in the crop and livestock sub-sector.

The service sector recorded 27,600 vacancies (15.5%), particularly in the wholesale and retail trade activity. More than half of the vacancies in 2Q21 belonged to the semi-skilled category comprising 55% or 98,000 vacant positions, followed by the skilled category at 24% (42,800) and 21% in the low-skilled category (37,300 ).

Mohd Uzir said the number of jobs created increased by 18.3% to 16,200 jobs in one year (2Q20: 13,700).

“For the record, the number of jobs created in 2Q20 was the lowest recorded since the start of the series in 2015. By skill category, jobs were largely created for the semi-skilled category which represented 60.8% or 9,800 while the qualified category comprised 30.8% (5,000), ”he said.

As for the breakdown by economic sector, he said the manufacturing sector accounted for 44.6% or 7,200 jobs and followed by the service sector with a share of 33.6% (5,400 jobs).

The other jobs created were in construction (16.9%), agriculture (4.3%) and mining and quarrying (0.6%).

Mohd Uzir said that the overall demand for labor in the economic sector during this quarter remained on a downward trend as business operations had not yet fully recovered to normal levels due to the pandemic.

“Nonetheless, the government’s ongoing economic stimulus plans and initiatives can ease the burden on businesses and ultimately help keep jobs in the economy.

“In addition, the positive evolution of the vaccination rate, as targeted in the national stimulus plan, will allow companies to have a more promising impact and accelerate the recovery of labor demand in Malaysia” , did he declare.

Employment statistics for the second quarter of 2021 prepared by the Statistics Directorate.


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