The number of labour force for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 was on an upward trend, up by 0.3 per cent, recording 16.96 million persons, says the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM). The labour force participation rate (LFPR) increased by 0.1 percentage points to 70.2 per cent versus 70.1 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023, while the number of employed persons edged up by 0.3 per cent, registering 16.40 million persons during the Q1 compared to 16.35 million persons in Q4 2023. 'The unemployment rate in the Q1 2024 remained unchanged at 3.3 per cent as in the last quarter,' Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement today. He elaborated that for March, the number of unemployed further decreased to 566,600 persons compared to 567,000 in February. Mohd Uzir also highlighted that the number of employed persons continued its upward trend, marking a month-on-month increase of 0.1 per cent to 16.53 million persons, as against 16.51 million persons recorded in Februar y 2024. Regarding the unemployment rate and LFPR by state, Penang had the lowest unemployment rate among all states at 1.8 per cent during the first quarter of 2024, followed by Kedah (1.9 per cent), Perlis and Selangor (2.0 per cent) and Putrajaya (2.1 per cent). In contrast, 10 states saw a rise in LFPR, signifying more labour participation in the market where Selangor recorded the highest LFPR at 76.3 per cent, followed by Kuala Lumpur (74.1 per cent), Penang (73.4 per cent), Putrajaya (72.9 per cent) and Johor (71.3 per cent). In terms of the economic sector, the services sector continued to record a positive trend in the number of employed persons, particularly in the wholesale and retail trade, food and beverage services and information and communication activities. 'The manufacturing, construction, mining and quarrying and agriculture sectors were also on an increasing trend in March 2024,' he added. Source: BERNAMA News Agency