MITI: Labour productivity maintains at 2.4% in 2Q19

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by TMR FILE PHOTO

MALAYSIA’S labour productivity in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19) continued to chart a positive growth following strong employment activities.

In a statement, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said that the labour productivity as measured by the value added per hour worked maintained at 2.4% since the previous quarter, while the value added per person employed grew 2.8% from 2.2% in 1Q19.

“Gross export registered a growth of 0.2%, which is supported by the manufactured goods in the resource-based and non-resource-based shipments, including iron and steel, chemicals and chemical products as well as  commodities.  

“In total stock of foreign direct investment (FDI), Malaysia registered  growth of 10.3% indicating that Malaysia continues to be an international investment destination with its business-friendly approach,” International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking (picture) said.

MITI also said with the 4.9% growth of the value added and 2.4% in the total hours worked, the country’s labour productivity as measured by value added per hour worked by all persons – including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers, rose 2.4 in 2Q19.

“The construction sector continues to register the highest growth in productivity per hour worked at 3.3% among the five main economic sectors.

“The productivity in the services and manufacturing sectors recorded 2.5% growth while the agriculture sector grew by 2.2%,” it said.

The ministry added that the productivity growth of mining and quarrying sector contracted by 0.7% due to discrepancies between the growth in hours worked and the value added.

The domestic service sector was supported by the growth of its sub-sectors such as the real estate and business services, real estate, financial and insurance, transport and storage.

The ministry added that improving the country’s productivity is a political imperative and business necessity that help raising Malaysians’ income per capita.

“Strengthening productivity is a vital element in making economic growth more resilient and sustainable.  

“Productivity growth can be maximised through the utilisation of physical  inputs by way of enhancing the application of knowledge embodied in capital, labour and new technologies,” it said.

MITI added that technological adoption and new talents will assist the industry’s transition into a modernised business organisation.

“Technology and new talent models are transforming the way the world works today.  

“Investing in high-quality education is crucial in the Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) because it can reduce skill mismatches, raise wages and help Malaysians to harness the potential of new technologies,” it added.

As the industries are shifting gears into IR4.0, MITI said the changes do not have to begin in school as employed workers are encouraged to be upskilled and equipped with necessary trainings.

“It does not necessarily have to start in school. Workers should be allowed to attend Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses that will help them to upskill.

“The promotion of TVET among local workers will help reduce the country’s  dependency on foreign workers, the employees to receive decent wages, improve governments’ talent shortages and creating opportunities for the highly paid jobs,” it added.