Economy

ICT annual salary growth lowest this decade

Pikom expects the average salaries to inch 3.8% due to slower trade expansion in the last few years

by SULHI KHALID / pic by TMR GRAPHIC

Computer and information technology professionals’ average salary growth rate is expected to decrease further as development in the high tech sector came to a crawl in the last few years.

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) expects the average salaries in the information and communication (ICT) industry to inch 3.8% this year due to slower industry expansion in the last few years.

Organising chair of the research and publication committee Woon Tai Hai said the projection average salary figure is significantly below the average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.7% recorded between 2009 and 2018, the slowest pace this decade.

“The slowdown in salary growth reflects the tepid expansion of the ICT industry, which share of GDP increased by only 0.1 percentage point to 18.3% in 2017,” he said at the launch of the 12th issue of the ICT Job Market Outlook Report yesterday.

Department of Statistics Malaysia’s 2017 figures showed that the ICT sector contributed RM247.1 billion to Malaysia’s GDP.

Pikom anticipated the industry to reach a contribution of 20% of national GDP by 2020.

“Declining growth trend of both salaries and job openings is likely a response to recalibration of the economy following the change last year, resulting in employers taking on a more cautious and wait- and-see attitude,” he said.

In its report, Pikom forecast the average monthly salary of ICT professionals this year to grow to RM9,614, 3.8% increase from RM9,262 recorded in 2018.

Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah expects the Malaysian economy to rebound in the second half of 2020 (2H20)

“With the government’s newly introduced initiatives and programmes, directing into Industrial Revolution 4.0, Robotics and analytics, arti cial intelligence as well as 5G implementation, we are con dent that the economy will turnaround by 2H20,” he said.

Ganesh said Pikom expects a moderate improvement in 2019 with most projections by domestic and international agencies falling within the 4.3% to 4.8% range.

“The encouraging news is that many of our economic indicators such as employment, domestic investment, inflation, interest rates and exports are still healthy. However, we must not rest on our laurels as global factors are beyond our control,” he added.

Pikom is the national representative of the ICT industry. Its membership stands at over 1,000 companies, contributing to 80% of the total ICT trade in Malaysia.

Dayang Norazhar

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