Wednesday, January 23, 2013

November 2012 Employment

November’s employment data shows the Malaysian economy adding 165k jobs, the first increase since July’s bumper crop (‘000):


Unemployment dropped by about 36k at the same time. As such, the unemployment rate fell from a year high of 3.2% to 2.9%:


How much of this “improvement” you want to rely on depends on how strong you view the seasonal factor involved – it looks very much like the August-October numbers were a bit of an aberration and unemployment has just fallen back to its “normal” value of between 3.0%-3.2%.

With any luck, we should be seeing a little less volatility going forward, though given the noise in this series, I wouldn’t want to bet on it.

Technical Notes:

November 2012 Employment Report from the Department of Statistics (warning: pdf link)


  1. Morning Hishamh,

    How are these data obtained? How reliable are they? I suppose the Statistic Dept follows some world standard on the compilation of the data but i personally do not see who collect this data and who supply this data. Ok given there is definitely error but by what margin??

    Financial data i believe is more reliable as all financial institutions have to report to BNM.

    Thank you.
    Zuo De

    1. Zuo De,

      To be honest< I don't really know. I'll be sure to ask when I see them. I do know that DOS does a monthly survey of manufacturing, while the other sectors have annual and quarterly surveys. My guess is that there is some estimation involved, expecially since this monthly employment series is realtively new.

  2. DOS do a monthly survey to household and yes its according to international standard. Although, im not so sure about the sample size involved. Anyway, household survey should be reliable in analyzing the unemployment rate but may not be so accurate for change in employment of job creation. Most advance country would survey the employer to gauge job creation

    1. Thanks, that's useful information. You're absolutely correct about the job creation part as well.