KUALA LUMPUR: The unemployment rate continues to show a downward trend, recording 3.8 per cent in June 2022, which is the lowest since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the number of unemployed decreased to 630,600 people in June 2022 from 637,700 people the previous month.

Citing the June 2022 Malaysian Labor Force Statistics published by the Malaysian Statistics Department today, Mustapa said the country reached full employment since April 2022, in terms of the unemployment rate being below 4 percent as defined by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Therefore, he said the position of the labor force was more stable following the increase in the number of workers, of 0.2 percent to 16.57 million people compared to 16.54 million people in May 2022.

The labor force participation rate (KPTB) in the month remained at 69.5 percent.

“The achievement of the labor market in June 2022 is in line with the current stronger economic activity following the transition to the endemic phase across the country.

“The demand for labor has increased, thus opening up more job opportunities in the market,“ Mustapa said in a statement today.

He said some key economic indicators also showed encouraging performance such as the volume of trade, which increased by 43.4 percent in June 2022 to a new high of RM270.4 billion with exports recording an increase of 38.8 percent to RM146.2 billion.

Mustapa said the Industrial Production Index (IPP) grew 12.1 percent in June 2022, the highest since May 2021, with all components recording positive growth.

In addition, the sales value of the manufacturing sector in June 2022 increased by 23.4 percent, which is the highest since May 2021, recording a sales value of RM153.5 billion, he said, adding that the achievement was mainly driven by the electrical & electronic equipment sub-sector which increased by 25.4 percent.

Looking at this development, Mustapa said he is confident that the national economy will continue to grow this year at the targeted rate, which is between 5.3 percent and 6.3 percent.

“The long-term trend of the national unemployment rate is around 3.4 percent (average for the period 2011-2021).

“Taking into account various key economic indicators that reflect better recovery momentum and the expectation that more job opportunities will be created, the unemployment rate is expected to move to a long-term trend,“ he added. - Bernama