Malaysia has an independent, highly participative democracy, which already early in its independence, held a unique record in social development, as measured in health and education. The overall unemployment rate is not exceptional in an international perspective. The interesting thing about Malaysia is that there exists a structural unemployment among the educated youth, which in spite of their relatively high level of education wait for a long time before entering the work force.
Unemployment occurs when a person is able and willing to work but currently is without work. The prevalence of unemployment is usually measured using the unemployment rate, which is defined as the percentage of those in the labor force who are unemployed. There are also different ways national statistical agencies measure unemployment. These differences may limit the validity of international comparisons of unemployment data. To some degree these differences remain despite national statistical agencies increasingly adopting the definition of unemployment by the International Labor Organization. To facilitate international comparisons, some organizations, such as the OECD, Eurostat, and International Labor Comparisons Program, adjust data on unemployment for comparability across countries.
1.1 Global Unemployment
Virtually all of the world’s advanced economies have suffered some effects from the recession. Though unemployment is a problem all over the world, some countries have suffered a worse rate of unemployment than others. People who are under 16, are in the armed forces and people who are currently incarcerated are not considered unemployed because they are not considerate to be a part of the work force. In addition, people who don’t have jobs but who have not been looking for work within the last four weeks are not considered to be unemployed.
Canada and the United States have both experienced massive job losses during the recession. The United States now has an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and Canada has an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent.
Europe has also been hard hit by the recession, with some countries faring better than others in terms of unemployment. In Austria, there is 4.5 percent unemployment. In Belgium, there is 7.4 percent unemployment. The unemployment rate of Cyprus is 3.8 percent. The Czech Republic has an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. Denmark has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate. Finland has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate. France has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate. Germany’s unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. Greece has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Iceland also has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Ireland has a high European employment rate with 11.8 percent. In Italy, the unemployment rate is 7.4 percent.
In Luxembourg, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent. Unemployment in Malta is 6.4 percent. The Netherlands has a 4.4 unemployment rate. In Norway, the unemployment rate is 3.1 percent. Portugal’s unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. Unemployment in San Marino is 2.8 percent. Unemployment in Slovakia is 10.9 percent. In Slovenia, the unemployment rate is 8.8 percent. Spain has an extraordinarily high unemployment rate at 18.7 percent. Sweden has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent. Switzerland maintains a low rate of unemployment at 3.5 percent. Israel has an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Australian unemployment rate is 5.7 percent and New Zealand has an unemployment rate of 5 percent.
Much of Asia has maintained a low unemployment rate despite the recession. Hong Kong’s rate of unemployment is 5.3 percent. In Japan, the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. In Singapore, the unemployment rate is a low 3.2 percent. South Korea has an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. The unemployment rate in Taiwan is 5.7 percent. The Indian unemployment rate is 10.7 percent and Sri Lanka has an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.
Table 1.1: Economic growth and change in unemployment,...