PETALING JAYA: Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said Malaysia’s unemployment rate of 4.8% in February was better when compared with other countries.
Speaking during a “Bicara Naratif” interview with RTM, he said the unemployment rate has improved from 5.3% in May last year.
He especially cited the Philippines, which has an unemployment rate of 8.7%, India with 6.9%, and the US with 6.2%.
According to Tengku Zafrul, Malaysia was not the only country that had faced an economic slump in 2020.
“If we look at 2020, there were actually 150 countries, that faced a contraction. This is not a Malaysian economic crisis, this is a global economic crisis.
“What’s important is through the national employment council, we are trying our best to reduce the unemployment rate in the country,” he said, adding that the government was targeting to create 500,000 new jobs this year.
The Statistics Department announced that the number of employed persons in Malaysia increased for the third month in a row with 33,300 people joining the labour force in February.
It said the unemployment rate declined to 4.8% the same month, a 0.1% decline compared with January.
The department noted the unemployment rate for youths aged 15 to 24 had increased by 0.4% to 13.9% in February, coming up to 347,600 people. This is a 52,400 increase compared with 295,300 in January this year.