Economists are optimistic about Malaysia’s job market, forecasting a continued decline in the unemployment rate to an average of 3.2% in 2024. With initiatives from the government and an influx of foreign direct investment (FDI), the labour force is expected to grow by 2.1%, while the number of employed individuals is projected to increase by 2.2% during the same period.
TA Securities highlights the proactive measures taken by the government to address issues like low pay through initiatives such as the wage progressive model. These efforts aim to enhance the overall well-being of workers and contribute to a more robust job market.
Additionally, the anticipated resurgence in the Chinese market and the steady growth in domestic demand are expected to further bolster the employment landscape in Malaysia. The sustained economic growth is likely to attract increased FDI, stimulating business expansion and creating additional job opportunities.
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) echoes this sentiment, noting that the future labour market will continue to be supported by increased tourism activities, the realisation of FDI projects, and the government’s ongoing job creation initiatives.
In 2023, Malaysia’s jobless rate improved to 3.4%, down from 3.8% in 2022 and 4.6% in 2021, reflecting positive economic momentum. Employment rose by an average of 2% year-on-year, while unemployment decreased by 8.1% year-on-year.
HLIB emphasises that Malaysia’s positive economic trajectory throughout 2023 led to increased demand for labour, resulting in steady improvements in employment figures and a return of the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels by November.