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Unemployment rate continues downward trend

Kuala Lumpur – The country’s unemployment rate continues to record a downward trend from 5.3 per cent or 826,100 people last May to 4.6 per cent or 737,500 in September, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the unemployment rate in December is expected to decline to 4.5 per cent and that the trend would continue into 2021.

“The recovery in the Malaysian labour market can be seen with the unemployment rate declining from the highest level of 5.3 per cent in May to 4.9 per cent or 773,200 people in June. The unemployment rate continued to decline to 4.7 per cent to 745,100 people in July and remained the same in August.

“The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) data in September indicates that the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.6 per cent with the number of the unemployed stood at 737,500 people,” he said during Question Time.

The minister was replying to Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (BN-Machang) who wanted to know the number of jobs affected by the second Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) enforced on Oct 14 and the extent to which the enforcement has an impact on the labour industry and labour economy as a whole.

Saravanan said based on the ministry’s data, the number of layoffs reported by the Social Security Organisation’s Employment Insurance System until Nov 27 was 99,696 people.

“At the same time, a total of 120,296 out of 372,934 job seekers managed to secure jobs. The government has provided various stimulus packages to help reduce the negative impact of this pandemic on the economy, including the labour market,” he said.

He added that based on the LFS data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, employees in the aviation, hospitality and tourism sectors are deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Saravanan said only 2.06 per cent or 6,175 workers contributed to the Gig Economy Platform Programme (PenjanaGig) as opposed to its target of 300,000 people.

The programme seeks to ensure the social security and welfare of the self-employed individuals involved in the gig economy.

Therefore, the minister said the ministry would intensify efforts to ensure self-employed individuals who are mostly from the B40 group would contribute to the programme and enjoy the perks provided such as medical benefits as well as temporary and permanent disability allowances.

In reply to Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah (Bebas-Kubang Pasu) who claimed that the annual contribution rate to the PenjanaGig was expensive at RM69.80, Saravanan said the rate was cheaper than the rate charged by conventional insurance providers in the market.

He said under the PenjanaGig, 70 per cent of the annual contribution of RM232.80 or RM163 was paid out by the government and that the self-employed individuals would have to pay the remaining 30 per cent under the Second Plan contribution for service providers.

He said the income insured under the Second Plan is RM1,550 where the self-employed contributors only have to pay RM69.80 a year. – Bernama

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