Malaysia’s 1Q Labour Demand Rises By 2.7 Per Cent

The First Quarter saw the number of jobs in the economic sector elevating by 2.7 per cent to 8.81 million jobs over the same quarter of the preceding year (Q1 2022: 8.57 million).

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), in its release today (May 11) entitled ‘Employment Statistics, First Quarter 2023’ said there were 8.61 million filled jobs with the rate of 97.8 per cent whereas the job vacancies rate was 2.2 per cent, registering a total of 192.6 thousand job vacancies as compared to Q1 2022 (184.3 thousand).

Additionally, the number of jobs created recorded was 31.7 thousand jobs during this quarter (Q1 2022: 25.8 thousand).

Labour Demand by Skill

In terms of share across skills category, jobs in the semi-skilled category recorded the highest share of 62.4 per cent (5.49 million). Skilled category ranked second at 24.9 per cent with 2.20 million jobs. A total of 12.7 per cent of jobs (1.12 million) were in the low-skilled category.

Skilled category recorded 2.20 million jobs, edged up by 3.7 per cent as compared to Q1 2022. This category comprised of 97.8 per cent rate of filled jobs, recorded a total of 2.15 million jobs while vacancies rate stood at 2.2 per cent (49.3 thousand). There were 8.6 thousand skilled jobs created in this quarter.

Majority of jobs were in the semi-skilled category, comprising a share of 62.4 per cent (5.49 million) in Q1 2023. Out of all semi-skilled jobs, 98.1 per cent or equivalent to 5.39 million were filled jobs with an increment of 2.8 per cent as compared to the same quarter of the preceding year (Q1 2022: 5.24 million).


This category also posted an additional of 4 thousand job vacancies since Q1 2022, hence resulting in 106.2 thousand job vacancies in Q1 2023 with the vacancies rate of 1.9 per cent. Meanwhile, this category recorded 20.2 thousand jobs created.

Analysing the year-on-year performance of low-skilled category, jobs increased by 0.4 per cent with 1.12 million jobs in Q1 2023. Likewise, the low-skilled filled jobs also grew by 0.4 per cent to 1.08 million jobs, recorded a rate of filled jobs at 96.7 per cent (Q1 2022: 1.07 million). Meanwhile, the number of low-skilled job vacancies decreased by 0.4 per cent to 37.1 thousand, with the vacancies rate of 3.3 per cent.

Labour Demand by Economic Activity

Looking at the breakdown by economic activity, more than half of jobs and filled jobs were in the Services sector with a share of 51.7 per cent (4.56 million) and 52.6 per cent (4.53 million) respectively. Within the same period, Manufacturing sector ranked second for both jobs and filled jobs, recorded 2.43 million jobs (27.6%) and 2.32 million filled jobs (27.0%).

Manufacturing sector posted the largest share of job vacancies at 55.9 per cent (107.7 thousand), followed by Agriculture (16.5%; 31.8 thousand). Meanwhile, Services sector encompassing 15.3 per cent (29.4 thousand) followed by Construction (12.1%; 23.3 thousand) and Mining & Quarrying (0.2%; 0.5 thousand).

The percentage share of jobs created primarily dominated by Services sector with 50.8 per cent (16.1 thousand) followed by Manufacturing with a share of 33.2 per cent (10.5 thousand) and Construction (10.3%; 3.3 thousand).

Chief Statistician Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, said: “Malaysia’s labour demand continued to be improving during the first quarter of 2023 with the increase of 233.7 thousand jobs in the economic sector to record 8.81 million jobs (Q1 2022: 8.57 million). This positive trend was an indication of the country’s gradual economic recovery, bolstered by various government’s initiatives such as job placement programmes, wage subsidies and tax incentives. For the record, the number of jobs in this quarter was the highest throughout the time series since 2018.

Similar trend was also observed for the number of filled jobs, which edged up by 2.7 per cent recording 8.61 million jobs in Q1 2023 (Q1 2022: 8.39 million). This was likely underpinned by the Government’s initiative on easing the foreign workers hiring rules through Foreign Worker Recruitment Relaxation Plan and Illegal Immigrant Recalibration Plan 2.0. Alongside, the number of job vacancies increased by 4.5 per cent to 192.6 thousand vacancies during this quarter. As for the rate of filled jobs and job vacancies, both rates stood at 97.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.”

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