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Border reopening a big boost to labour market recovery

Border reopening a big boost to labour market recovery

With the announcement of international border reopening, Malaysia’s labour market recovery remains on a steady path following the possible return of non-citizens workers.

In addition, high vaccination rate reduces the possibility of reintroduction of containment measures in Malaysia as close to 80% of the population jabbed twice and almost 50% received the third jab.

“We still keep our average unemployment rate forecast at 4.0% for 2022,” says analysts from MIDF.

Employment growth hit 8-month high with Malaysia’s labour market improving further as employment increased +2.9%yoy, biggest gain since Jun-21.

As overall economic activities stay in recovery mode, total unemployed persons fell further by -13%yoy in Jan-22, the largest contraction rate ever recorded, says MIDF.

“Jobless rate remained at pandemic low of 4.2%. Looking ahead, we view Malaysia’s labour market to continue on steady recovery pace as indicated by the steady pick-up in job-to-vacancy rate which hit a new record high at 47.1% in Dec-21.”

Job vacancies touched a new record high. Number of job vacancies surged to 324K in Dec-21, highest ever recorded.

Impact of border reopening

After long months of containment measures, the economy saw a strong pick-up in job vacancies among others due to the reopening of domestic economic activities and continuous upbeat external trade momentum.

According to reports, Tourism Minister Nancy Shukri stated on Monday that the reopening of the international border would include Malaysia’s land checkpoints with Singapore.

Both the Johor Causeway and the Second Link at Gelang Patah would reopen at the same time, she added, making it easier for Singaporeans to go to Malaysia.

Malaysia and Singapore currently have land and air VTLs.

At least 300,000 Malaysians working in Singapore will be given a chance to find jobs or to return to their workplace after the border reopening.

April opening

During the Tuesday news conference, Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri also revealed other restrictions that would be lifted as part of the “Transition To Endemic Phase” beginning April 1.

He stated that business premises operating hours would be removed, and that operators would be able to conduct their operations in accordance with their licensing licenses.

“This means you may all dine at restaurants until 12 a.m., especially during the next month of Ramadan,” he explained.