Malaysia says more job vacancies as labour market remains stable

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): Malaysian job vacancies increased to 926,359 between January and August 2017 from 433,634 a year earlier, led by the manufacturing sector.

Citing data from JobsMalaysia, the Finance Ministry said in its Economic Report 2017/2018 that the manufacturing sector reported the highest number of vacancies at 40.8% of total vacancies followed by the service industry at 22.7%.

In occupational group terms, elementary jobs continued to record the highest number of vacancies at 74% of total vacancies followed by plant and machine operators and assemblers at 11.2%, according to the ministry.

"(Malaysia's) Labour market remains stable," the ministry said.

Malaysia's unemployment rate stood at 3.4% in the first half of 2017 (1H17) as total persons employed increased from a year earlier, it said.

The ministry said employed and unemployed persons in 1H17 increased to 14.38 million and 511,500 respectively while labour force rose to 14.89 million people.

Moving forward, the ministry said the country needs to boost labour productivity gains instead of sheer accumulation of capital and labour inputs.

While Malaysia managed to register labour productivity growth at 3.5% to RM78,218 in 2016, the country is still lagging behind several advanced economies such as the US, Australia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, the ministry said.

"However, the overall productivity level in Malaysia is better compared with China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines," the ministry added.

In 2017, Malaysia's labour productivity growth is estimated at 3.4%, according to the ministry. It said the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, which outlines the country's economic growth plan between 2016 and 2020, has set a labour productivity growth target at 3.7% a year to achieve RM92,300 in 2020.