Low Unemployment in Penang for Now

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But the future requires that work skills match employer requirements and that job seekers look to the private rather than the public sector.

Penang’s labour market is expected to remain buoyant in the second half of 2017. The labour force participation rate moderated to 69% in 2016, up from 69.9% in 2015; ranking third after Putrajaya (77.6%) and Selangor (74.2%).

Male employment makes up about 58% of Penang’s labour force market; employed persons aged 25-29 years old accounted for the largest share (17.4%), followed by the next age group (30-34 years old) at 16.1%. This shows that approximately one-third of the workforce are young – or Generation Y – workers.

In 2016, employment of tertiary-educated staff constituted 32.6%, an increase of 5.7% from 2015. The share of employment in high-skilled occupations also increased by 3.1%, while employment in both mid- and low-skilled occupations dropped by 1.8% and 1.3% respectively. The services sector continued to record the most workers at 58.4%, followed by the manufacturing sector (32.9%).


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