SEARCH
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
32.4 MIL PEOPLE
2018
32.5 MIL PEOPLE
2019
Source: Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Note: *Yearly-based data

LABOUR FORCE 
2018 - 15.3 MIL PEOPLE
9.3 MIL PERSONS
6.0 MIL PERSONS
80.4%
55.2%
2019 - 15.6 MIL PEOPLE
9.5 MIL PERSONS
6.1 MIL PERSONS
80.8%
55.6%

BREAKDOWN OF EMPLOYMENT BY SKILL
HIGH-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2018
27.2 %
2019
27.5 %
SEMI-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2018

60.4 %

2019
60.1 %
LOW-SKILLED EMPLOYMENT
2018
12.4 %
2019
12.4 %

EDUCATION ATTAINMENT
% of tertiary educated labour force
28.8 %
2018
29.6 %
2019
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
OVERALL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
3.3 %
2018
3.3 %
2019
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
10.9 %
2018
10.5 %
2019
SUMMARY

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is conducted by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) annually to collect information on the structure of the labour force. Based on the population estimates by DOSM, Malaysia’s population grew from 32.4 million people in 2018 to 32.5 million people in 2019.

In 2019, 22.7 million people are of working age (defined by DOSM as individual aged between 15 to 64 years old). Out of this number, 15.6 million people are in the labour force (Male: 9.5 million; Female: 6.1 million) while 7.1 million people are outside of the labour force (Male: 2.3 million; Female: 4.8 million) for various reasons such as schooling (include those going for further studies), family responsibilities, disability and retirement.

This means that the male labour force participation rate (LFPR) is 80.8% (9.5 million out of 11.8 million working age males) while female LFPR is 55.6% (6.1 million out of 10.9 million working age females).

In terms of employment by skill level, Malaysia’s share of high skill employment (those who are employed in managerial, professional or technician roles) is at 27.5%. Meanwhile, the share of semi-skill workers is at 60.1% and the share of low-skill employment is at 12.4%.

On a positive note, the education background of the labour force is improving. The share of tertiary educated labour force has increased from 28.8% in 2018 to 29.6% in 2019. 

Lastly, the unemployment rate remained at 3.3% in 2019. This indicates that there were about 508,200 persons who were unemployed in 2019. The unemployment rate in 2019 was not affected by the negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is expected to have an impact on labour force indicators in 2020. In addition, youth unemployment rate has dropped slightly from 10.9% to 10.5% (295,800 persons).

Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia

IN THIS SECTION:

our social updates

share this page:
Ooops!
Generic Popup