In the realm of economic stability, Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga IB) holds an optimistic stance, maintaining its average unemployment rate forecast for 2023 at a resilient 3.5%. This positive outlook is bolstered by continued employment growth and an increase in active job openings.
As of May 19, 2023, the job portal MyFutureJobs exhibited a dramatic increase in vacant positions, showcasing 113,120 open jobs, a significant leap from 20,853 vacancies in April 2023. Kenanga IB attributes this employment strength to the steadfastness of domestic demand. Despite the ongoing global growth slowdown, domestic demand remains a sturdy pillar, partially counteracting the weakness in the external sector.
Kenanga IB foresees a progressive recovery in the services sector, driven by a gentle uptick in tourism activities, further strengthening its growth forecast. The month of April 2023 saw a slight decrease of 0.3% in the number of unemployed individuals, bringing the total to 586,900 persons from 588,700 in the previous month. This change, although modest, keeps the unemployment rate steady at 3.5%, consistent with March 2023.
Reflecting on the labour force statistics, Kenanga IB noticed a marginal increase of 0.2%, amounting to a labour force tally of 16.84 million persons compared to the 16.81 million of March. This increment in the labour force participation rate, though modest at 0.1 percentage points (now 70.0% from March 2023’s 69.9%), indicates a growing labor participation in the market.
Moreover, April 2023’s data showcased a month-on-month comparison, with the number of employed persons inching up by 0.2% to hit a record high of 16.25 million persons.
In light of these stable labor market conditions, which are anticipated to continue buttressing growth in domestic demand, Kenanga IB maintains its 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast at 4.7%.
This article is based on news reported by the MalayMail website.