Job vacancies in Malaysia rose 7.2% year-on-year to 177,900 in the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21)  Malaysia (DOSM) said in a statement today that the sales value of wholesale and retail trade registered the first positive y-o-y growth of 9.3% while the industrial production index (IPI) surged 9.3% in March 2021 during the same period. Chief Statistician Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said, “Comparing with pre-crisis duration, the number of job vacancies had yet to revive to the normal level which recorded an average of 200,000 job vacancies. On the same note, the rate of job vacancies during this quarter increased by 0.2 percentage points (1Q20: 1.9%),” he said.

He pointed out that more than half of the job vacancies in 1Q21 were in the semi-skilled category, accounting for 55.5% or equivalent to 98,700 job vacancies, followed by the skilled category at 23.5% (41,800) and the low-skilled category at 21% (37,400).

By economic sector, the manufacturing sector had the most job vacancies — 100,900 or 56.75% of overall vacancies — which were primarily in the electrical, electronic and optical products sub-sector (30,600), followed by petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (18,700).nThe agriculture sector recorded 28,500 job vacancies (16%), largely in the crops and livestock sub-sector. There were 26,800 job vacancies or 15.1% in the services sector, particularly in the wholesale and retail industry.

However, the number of jobs continued to decrease since the last four consecutive quarters to 8.437 million, edging down by 1.5% y-o-y. “The figures signified that despite the increase of job vacancies, the number of jobs was still lower as compared to the pre-crisis situation.

“Rate of filled jobs during the quarter remained at 97.9%, equivalent to 8.260 million filled jobs. Disaggregating filled jobs by skill categories, semi-skilled, which encompassed the largest share at 62.5% (5.2 million), decreased by 0.1 percentage point (4Q20: 62.6%) whereas the share of skilled category expanded by 0.1 percentage point to 24.5% (2 million),” said Mohd Uzir.

He highlighted that there were 17,400 jobs created during the quarter, up 4% from 16,700 in the previous quarter. Nevertheless, on a y-o-y performance, the number of jobs created fell by 4,500 from 21,900 in 1Q20 with the skilled category remaining in decreasing trend whereas both semi- and low-skilled categories posted increases.

The majority of jobs created were in the semi-skilled category, comprising 59.9% or 10,400, while the skilled category made up 30.5% (5,300). Looking at the breakdown by economic sector, the manufacturing sector recorded the largest composition of jobs created at 42.4% or 7,400, followed by the services sector at 36.6% (6,400). Meanwhile, the remaining 21% of jobs created were in the construction (16.2%), agriculture (4.3%) and mining and quarrying (0.5%) sectors. “Considering the current health crisis, 1Q21 indicated a modest recovery momentum of labour demand in Malaysia, among others, due to the relaxation of some restrictions imposed at the beginning stage of the Movement Control Order starting January this year. “Nonetheless, various incentives and stimulus packages issued by the government are foreseen to improve the economic growth and subsequently facilitate and accelerate the labour market’s recovery pace,” Mohd Uzir added.


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