US – Initial Claims
12/04/2019 09:40 am MYT
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The seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending 6 Apr 2019 were 196,000, down 8,000 from the previous week. This is their lowest level since 4 Oct 1969. The 4-week moving average decreased 7,000 from the previous week to 207,000, making for their lowest level since 6 Dec 1969 – see figure 1. Continuing jobless claims for the week ending 30 Mar 2019 registered a seasonally adjusted 1.713 mln, down 13,000 from the previous week, while the 4-week moving average decreased by 11,000 to 1.734 mln. Layoffs continued to linger around historically low levels despite a noticeable rise. The underlying trend remained consistent with a tight labour market.


Note from Publisher
The Malaysian parliament has approved to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. Once this bill becomes law, a person who turns 18 will automatically become a voter, unlike in the previous system where a person needs to register in order to become a voter even though he/she has reached the legal age. So, in the next general election due on 2023, as many as 7.8 mln people would be added to the electoral roll, bringing the country's total number of voters to 22.7 mln.

By lowering the voting age, Malaysia is following the trend in other countries. With the exception of Singapore, which still maintains a voting age of 21, most people in Southeast Asia can vote when they turn 18. While allowing more people to participate in the democratic process is a positive move, the change should not stop at the revision of voting age, if the country wants to reap the benefits of this revision. The younger voters need to be properly educated on the responsibility of being a voter, Malaysia’s political and electoral systems. Malaysia also needs to have more public forums that constructively debate major issues facing the country. Otherwise, Malaysia will have more populist politicians and populist policies and hence on a faster route to oblivion.
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