Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Unemployed and Out of Work

I wanted to start a discussion on inflation last night, but it took longer than I thought to compile the data (it's been a while). In the meantime, here's something that's a little unique to Malaysia.

Starting with the first MCO, DOSM began adding to their monthly employment report an estimate of the number of people who still had jobs, but for whatever reason were unable to work. It's a bit of a catch-all category, and includes those with pay as well as those without. Nevertheless, the numbers were initially staggering:

At the peak in April 2020, the number of people in this category numbered nearly 4.9 million, over and above the 778k unemployed. If you put the numbers together, about 36% of the labour force were out of work during the first weeks of the first MCO:

During the 2nd extended MCO last year, the combined rate rose up again to reach 9.8%. This mini bump alone exceeded the worst of the 1980s recession, and more than triple the rate seen during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. Thankfully, the latest data shows significant improvement, with unemployment dropping below 700k for the first time since March 2020, and the temporary category dropping to 112k.

May we never see anything like this again.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back!

    Have you done work or know of any work for hysteresis or scarring in Malaysia?