Labour Market

You may surf the menu Methods & Classifications under the submenu Metadata for Labour Force Survey (LFS) to obtain information on the classification, concepts, definitions and methodology used by DOSM to conduct LFS and produce the LFS statistics. The information can also be obtained from the Technical Notes in the Labour Force Survey Report.

What is labour force?

Labour force consists of population in the age group of 15 to 64 years who are employed and unemployed.

What is the working age limit for the LFS statistics?

The working age limit for a country is determined based on the age structure of the economically active population of the country. Working age for the analysis of LFS in Malaysia refers to household members between the age of 15 to 64 years.

What does employed mean?

Employed refers to all persons who worked at least one hour during the reference week for pay, profit or family gain either as an employer, employee, own account worker or unpaid family worker. They are also considered as employed if they: All persons who, at any time during the reference week worked at least one hour for pay, profit or family gain (as an employer, employee, own-account worker or unpaid family worker). Also considered as employed are persons who did not work during the reference week because of illness, injury, disability, bad weather, leave, labour dispute and social or religious reasons but had a job, farm, enterprise or other family enterprise to return to. Also included are those on temporary lay-off with pay who would definitely be called back to work. Employed persons at work and who had worked less than 30 hours during the reference week because of the nature of their work or due to insufficient work and are able and willing to accept additional hours of work are considered underemployed but are nevertheless included in the “employed” category.


The unemployed are classified into two that is the actively unemployed and inactively unemployed. The actively unemployed include all persons who did not work during the reference week but were available for work and actively looking for work during the reference week. Inactively unemployed persons include the following categories:

  • persons who did not look for work because they believed no work was available or that they were not qualified;
  • persons who would have looked for work if they had not been temporarily ill or had it not been for bad weather;
  • persons who were waiting for result of job applications; and
  • persons who had looked for work prior to the reference week.Where can I find the information on the concepts, methodology and definitions related to Labour Force Survey?