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Key Figures
A QUICK GLANCE AT MALAYSIA
The Malaysian government has introduced a national transformation framework which aims to drive the country toward an advanced nation by 2020. Here's a snapshot of the Malaysian workforce.
TOTAL POPULATION
31.2 MIL PEOPLE
2015
31.7 MIL PEOPLE
2016
Source: Population Estimates, Department of Statistics, Malaysia (2016)

LABOUR FORCE 
2015 - 14.5 MIL PEOPLE
8.9 MIL PERSONS
5.6 MIL PERSONS
80.6%
54.1%
2016 - 14.7 MIL PEOPLE
9.0 MIL PERSONS
5.7 MIL PERSONS
80.2%
54.3%

BREAKDOWN OF EMPLOYMENT BY SKILL
HIGH-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2015
25.5 %
2016
27.3
SEMI-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2015
60.7 %
2016
59.7 %
LOW-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2015
13.8 %
2016
13.0 %

EDUCATION ATTAINMENT
% of tertiary educated labour force
27.6 %
2015
27.7 %
2016
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
OVERALL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
3.1 %
2015
3.4 %
2016
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
10.7 %
2015
10.5 %
2016
SUMMARY
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is conducted by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) to collect information on the structure of the labour force. Based on the population estimates by DOSM, Malaysia’s population grew from 31.2 million people in 2015 to 31.7 million people in 2016.

Of the total population in 2016, 21.7 million people are of working age (defined by DOSM as individual aged between 15 to 64 years old). Out of this number, 14.7 million people are in the labour force (Male: 9.0 million; Female: 5.7 million) while 7.0 million people are out of the labour force (Male: 2.2 million; Female: 4.8 million) for various reasons such as schooling, family responsibilities, disabled and retired. 

This means that the male labour force participation rate (LFPR) is 80.2% (9 million out of 11.2 million working age males) while female LFPR is 54.3% (5.7 million out of 10.5 million working age females)

In terms of employment by skill level, Malaysia’s share of high skill employment increased by 1.8 percentage points to 27.3% compared to the previous year. This means that 27.3% of those employed in Malaysia are in managerial, professional or technician roles. Meanwhile, the share of semi-skill workers is at 59.7% while the share of low-skill employment is at 13.0%. 

On a positive note, the education background of the labour force is improving. The share of tertiary educated labour force has increased marginally from
27.6% in 2015 to 27.7% in 2016. 

Lastly, while the unemployment rate remains low, it rose slightly from 3.1% in 2015 to 3.4% in 2016. This indicates that there were about 504,100 persons who were unemployed in 2016. Youth unemployment, however, declined slightly from 10.7% to 10.5% (273,300 persons).
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