Malaysia: Clear indications of regaining momentum

From the last update of the stagnant unemployment rate in Malaysia during July 2021 (Read about it here:, there are now clear signs of recovery as seen from the latest update in the October 2021 labor force statistics released by Malaysia’s Department of Statistics (DoSM).

The most encouraging sign is the dip in Malaysia’s unemployment rate to 4.3%; the lowest ever since April 2020. The number of unemployed persons continued to lessen month on month by 3.4%. Although it remains relatively higher than pre-pandemic periods, this is truly a step forward amidst the looming uncertainty in the pandemic. Amidst the unemployed persons in October 2021, it is found that there is a decrease of actively unemployed people (those who were available and were actively seeking jobs) from 87.1% in September to 83.6% in October 2021.

Another notable trend is the uptick in employed persons in October 2021, with a 0.6% increase on a month-on-month basis. This has been a stable trend observed year-on-year. Zooming in on the industries, the number of employed persons in the Services sector continue to see improvements. Specifically, the increase is seen in Wholesale and retail trade, Food and beverages services, information and communication as well as Transport and storage activities. Manufacturing and Construction – a hard hit sector – remained positive for the third month as well. However, Agriculture as well as the Mining and Quarrying sector are still looking at a downwards trend.

Finally, the labour participation rate stepped up with a 0.2% gain, ranking at 68.8% currently. Under the labour force indicator, it is observed that the number of female labour force climbed to 6.26 million persons from 6.25 million persons as well. This is once again an encouraging sign as Malaysia ramps up on the efforts in ensuring a level playing field for women.

All these positive signs are clear indications that the Government interventions such as the Budget 2022 are playing a crucial role in assisting the groups within the population well (Read about some of the interventions in Budget 2022 here: With the world easing towards the resumption of interstate travel, it is anticipated that it will bring about even more positive influences to employment especially in the tourism sector. These improvements and progresses are signs of regaining the business momentum, and it applies not just to Malaysia, but most of the countries globally.