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UOB Group’s Senior Economist Julia Goh and Economist Loke Siew Ting assessed the latest Malaysian labour market report.

Key Quotes

“Malaysia’s unemployment rate edged up to a 5-month high of 4.8% in the second month of the enforcement of Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), from 4.7% in Oct. The number of unemployed persons rose 2.2% to 764.4k (Oct: +1.5% to 748.2k), while the labour force participation rate inched down to 68.4% (from 68.5% in Oct).”

“Total employment reversed course and dropped by 0.1% to 15.20m in Nov (Oct: +0.1% to 15.21m) on account of sluggish hiring in the agriculture, mining & quarrying, and tourism-related sectors.”

“The near-term labour market outlook is expected to remain dim as the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic prolongs into Jan 2021… Given the further uptick in unemployment rate, we revise upwards our projections of unemployment rate to 4.9% for 2020 (vs. 4.5% previously) and 4.0% for 2021 (vs. 3.7% previously).”